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Our Fight With 








Gift of 
H. R. MacMiUan 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of British Columbia Library 






Copyright, 1895, by 
Charles H, Parkhurst 





The Society for the Peevention of Crime, . . i 


The Madison Square Pulpit's Analysis of Tammany, 8 

Discourse of February 14, Reviewed and Reviled, , 26 

Rebuked by the Grand Jury, ...... 38 

Collecting Evidence 49 

AFFID.^.vITS IN the Pui.ri t 59 


Presentment by the Grand Jury against the Police 
Department, 79 




Byrnes and the "Great Shake-up," .... 88 

On the Rack, 

Mass Meeting at Cooper Union 113 

The Puu'IT and Politics, 12S 

Gardner's Arrest and Trial, 142 

The Social Evil 154 

Byrnes's Effort to Discredit the Crusade, . . 165 

First on Devery, 177 

Denunciation and Whitewash iSq 




The Broome Street Mou, 202 

War on the Captains 214 


The Chamber oe Commerce Appeals to Albany, . .231 

The Senatorl\l Investigatini; Committee, . . . 240 

The Committee oe Seventy 253 

Election Appeal from the Madison Square Pn.piT, . 267 

Victory — Its Perils and Opportunities, . . . 2S5 




The purpose in these pages is to set forth, as briefly 
and connectedly as possible, the steps that conducted 
to the overthrow of Tammany Hall on November 6, 
1894. The writer does not claim to have handled the 
matter exhaustively, and has limited himself quite 
closely to those features in the case upon which he 
can speak with the authority of an actor or a witness. 

We have been doubly motived to this recital. In 
the first place, although there seems to have been a 
good deal of desultory warfare waged during the past 
three years, we are concerned to have our fellow-citi- 
zens appreciate the thread of identity of purpose upon 
which all apparent desultoriness has been strung. We 
should like, also, to be of service to other municipal- 
ities in our country which may still be suffering the 
same kind of tyranny which our own city has just re- 
nounced. Frequent appeals are reaching us from 
those who would like to have reproduced elsewhere 


the results which have been secured here, and who 
seek from us such assistance as we may be able to 
render. It has seemed that we can in no way so well 
accede to such requests as by exhibiting, in as simple 
a manner as possible, the general outline of events in 
our own town. This is not to deny that each city has 
its own special and distinguishing conditions. At the 
same time, as regards the main point at issue, all 
American cities of any considerable size are substan- 
tially circumstanced in much the same way. Virtue is 
at the bottom and knavery on top. The rascals are 
out of jail and standing guard over men who aim to be 
honorable and law-abiding. Statesmanship has very 
largely degenerated into small and dirty politics. 
Cities are administered in the pocket interests of the 
municipal government, not in the moral, social, in- 
dustrial, and economic behest of the rank and file of 
the citizens. Something has been done in New York 
in the way of reversing this policy. If it can be done 
here it can be done in any city in the Union; and it is 
not in any spirit of arrogance or conceit that we say 
that perhaps other cities, still in the condition in which 
we have been, maybe able to learn something from the 
way in which we have succeeded in escaping from that 

However numerous and effective the influences 
which in these last months have been operating to the 
overthrow of Tammany, the primary movement in that 
direction, it is conceded, dates from the reorganization 


aiul activity of the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime. This Society was organized in October, 1878, 
and the names of the incorporators are as follows: 

Peter Cooper, David J. Whitnev, 

Howard Crosby, Frederick A. Booth, 

William H. Wickham, Oscar E. Schmidt, 

Benjamin Tatham, D. B. St. John Roosa, 

William F. Mott, Henry Drisler, 

Erastus D. Culver, Alonzo Follett, 

William B. Merritt, William P. Prentice, 

S. Prime, Geo. G. Wheelock, 

John H. Hinton. 

The original incorporators organized in the elec- 
tion of Dr. Howard Crosby as President, which position 
he continued to hold until his death, which occurred 
March 29, 1891; and to such degree was its policy 
shaped by his wisdom and animated by his spirit that 
it was publicly known as "Dr. Crosby's Society." 

It was through Dr. Crosby's personal influence that 
I (if I may be permitted to speak of myself in the 
first person singular) became associated with the So- 
ciety for the Prevention of Crime. On the morning of 
Sunday, October 26, 1890, a little more than a week, 
therefore, prior to the annual election of that year, I 
preached in the pulpit of the Madison Square Church 
a sermon bearing upon election issues, which was 
printed the next morning in one of the daily journals 
and arrested Dr. Crosby's attention. 


The next day he addressed me the following letter, 
which is here reproduced in facsimile, which is richly 
characteristic of the good Doctor, both in matter and 
chirography : 

My membership in the Society dates from Novem- 
ber 6, 1890, and between that time and the death of 
Dr. Crosby, the Society held but six meetings — quite 
insufficient to familiarize a novitiate with the Society's 
personnel and methods. My election as President of 
the Society occurred on April 30, 1891. My accept- 
ance of such position I made conditional upon the 
Society's adoption of a policy which has since ob- 
tained in all of its operations, and which has been so 
determinative of all that has transpired later as to 
require distinct notice at this point. 

Somewhat prior to the date of my first connection 
with the Society I had become knowing to a condition 
of things throughout the city, of which, during all the 
years of my residence in town up to that date, I had 
been ignorant, and of which, except for a special 
cause, I should probably have continued ignorant. 
My interest in the congregation to which I minister, 
made up as it is quite largely of young men, induced 
in me a special concern for young men and for the 
conditions under which their urban life has to main- 
tain itself. Through acquaintance with them, and in 
consequence of information which I gathered from 
trusted members both of the legal and medical pro- 


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fessions, I became easily familiar with certain facts 
which make out a large feature in the life of the city ; 
and it occurred to me whether there might not be 
some means by which, in association with others, I 
could operate to reduce the strain of current temp- 
tation and make it at least a little easier for a city 
young man to maintain himself at his best. 

After the above matter had gone through due pro- 
cess of fermentation in my own mind, I commenced 
to push out quietly in the two directions of the gam- 
bling evil and the social evil, and the first obstruction 
against which I ran was the Police ! The Department 
which, in my rustic innocence, I had supposed existed 
for the purpose of repressing crime, it now began to 
dawn upon me, had for its principal object to protect 
and foster crime and make capital out of it. It was a 
rude awakening to a cruel fact, but it was a fact in 
the light of which the last three years have been con- 
stantly lived. 

It was that appreciation of the situation, as thus 
awakened, that I insisted, upon my election to the 
Presidency of the Society for the Prevention of Crime, 
should henceforth determine the Society's policy. 
Previously the Society had worked in conjunction 
with the Police. I made it conditional upon my ac- 
ceptance of the Presidency that the Society should 
henceforth deal with the Police as its arch-antagonist, 
making with it no alliance and giving it no quarter. 
We are the only organization of a similar character in 


the town that does not consent to lean on the arm of 
the PoUce Department ; and, in view of the thorough- 
ly rotten character which that Department has been 
demonstrated to possess, our peculiarity in that par- 
ticular is one of which we think we have reason to 
be proud. Repeated efforts have been made by the 
Police, or by their friends, to draw us into relations of 
compromise and co-operation. The temptation has, 
in one or two instances, been strong to yield to such 
overtures, and doubtless, had the step been taken, 
there would have been a large and gratifying issue of 
immediate results ; but it would have been at the sur- 
render of our vantage-ground, and what we should 
have gained in superficial victory we should have 
sacrificed in substantial power. 

That, then, was one feature of the policy adopted 
by the Society at its reorganization in 1891 ; we de- 
termined to fight the disease and not the symptoms. 
The second feature followed on naturally from that. 
Hitherto the Society, through its Executive Com- 
mittee and its agents, had contented itself with deal- 
ing with small infractions of the law, such as arresting 
bartenders for selling to minors ; raiding saloons and 
disorderly houses that had not sufficient "pull " to 
render impossible the serving of a warrant. From 
that time on the Society commenced to gun for large 

The late David J. Whitney, one of the original cor- 
porate members of the Society, with a heart as tender 


as that of a child, but a very Samson in all the ciual- 
ities of a born fighter, advocated tliis modification of 
policy with characteristic energy and enthusiasm, and 
there is no living member of the Society but wishes 
that our ardent and beloved old colleague might have 
survived to witness the overthrow of the rascals whom 
he hated with so intelligent and relentless a hatred. 
Such, then, were the elements of policy, in pursuance 
of which the reorganized Society in 1891 commenced 
its work — " Down with the Police " and " No Shot for 
Diminutive Game." 



The events related in the previous chapter led up 
to the discharge of what may perhaps be called, " The 
First Gun of the Campaign," the sermon preached in 
Madison Square Church, Sabbath morning, February 
14, 1892. 

No notice had been given of its delivery and no one 
was less suspicious than the preacher himself of the 
disturbing effect it would produce. He was so thor- 
oughly persuaded of the truth he spoke, that it came 
to him as a surprise that community should become in 
any degree wrought up over it. As one of the links in 
the chain of sequence, the discourse is here inserted 
substantially as delivered. 

" Ye are the salt of the earths — Matthew v. 13. 
That states illustratively the entire situation. It 
characterizes the world we live in ; it defines the func- 
tions of the Christianity that has entered into the 
world, and it indicates by implication the stint which 
it devolves upon each Christian man and woman of us 
to help to perform. These words of our text occur in 

OUR FKilir Wiril TAMMANY 9 

what we have learned to know as "The Sermon on the 
Mount," or what we might properly designate as 
Christ's statement of fundamentals. In this sermon 
He is putting in His preliminary work: He is laying a 
basis broad and deep enough to carry everything that 
will be laid upon it later. And it is one of the impres- 
sive features of the matter that the Founder of Chris- 
tianity so distinctly foresaw that practical and con- 
crete relation with the world into which the new faith 
was to come, and that so early in His ministry as this 
He announced that relation in terms so simple and 

Ye are the salt of the earth. This, then, is a cor- 
rupt world, and Christianity is the antiseptic that is to 
be rubbed into it in order to arrest the process of its 
decay. An illustration taken from common things, 
but which states at a stroke the entire story. The 
reason for selecting the above Scripture, and the bur- 
den that is upon my mind this morning is this : that 
current Christianity seems not in any notable or con- 
spicuous way to be fulfilling the destiny which the 
Lord here appoints for it. It lacks distinct purpose, 
and it lacks virility. We are living in a wicked world, 
and we are fallen upon bad times. And the question 
that has been pressing upon my heart these days and 
weeks past has been — What can I do ? 

We are not thinking just now so much of the world 
at large as we are of the particular part of the world 
that it is our painful privilege to live in. We are not 


saying that the times are any worse than they have 
been ; but the evil that is in them is giving most un- 
commonly distinct tokens of its presence and vitality, 
and it is making a good many earnest people serious. 
They are asking, What is to be done ? What is there 
that I can do ? In its municipal life our city is thor- 
oughly rotten. Here is an immense city reaching out 
arms of evangelization to every quarter of the globe ; 
and yet every step that we take looking to the moral 
betterment of this city has to be taken directly in the 
teeth of the damnable pack of administrative blood- 
hounds that are fattening themselves on the ethical 
flesh and blood of our citizenship. 

We have a right to demand that the Mayor and 
those associated with him in administering the affairs 
of this municipality should not put obstructions in the 
path of our ameliorating endeavors ; and they do. 
There is not a form under which the devil disguises 
himself that so perplexes us in our efforts, or so be- 
wilders us in the devising of our schemes as the pol- 
luted harpies that, under the pretence of governing 
this city, are feeding day and night on its quivering 
vitals. They are a lying, perjured, rum-soaked, and 
libidinous lot. If we try to close up a house of prosti- 
tution or of assignation, we, in the guilelessness of our 
innocent imaginations, might have supposed that the 
arm of the city government that takes official cogni- 
zance of such matters, would like nothing so well as 
to watch daytimes and sit up nights for the purpose of 


bringing these dirty malefactors to their deserts. On 
the contrary, the arm of the city government that 
takes official cognizance of such matters evinces but 
a languid interest, shows no genius in ferreting out 
crime, prosecutes only when it has to, and has a mind 
so keenly judicial that almost no amount of evidence 
that can be heaped up is accepted as sufficient to war- 
rant indictment. 

We do not say that the proposition to raid any 
noted house of assignation touches our city gov- 
ernment at a sensitive spot. We do not say that they 
frequent them ; nor do we say that it is money in their 
pockets to have them maintained. We only say (we 
think a good deal more, but we only say) that so far 
as relates to the blotting out of such houses the 
strength of the municipal administration is practi- 
cally leagued with them rather than arrayed against 

'rhe same holds true of other institutions of an 
allied character. Gambling-houses flourish on all these 
streets almost as thick as roses in Sharon. They are 
open to the initiated at any hour of day or night. 
They are eating into the character of some of what we 
are accustomed to think of as our best and most 
promising young men. They are a sly and constant 
menace to all that is choicest and most vigorous in a 
moral way in the generation that is now moving on to 
the field of action. If we try to close up a gambling- 
house, we, in theguilelessnessof our innocent imagina- 


tions, might have supposed that the arm of the city- 
government that takes cognizance of such matters 
would find no service so congenial as that of combin- 
ing with well-intentioned citizens in turning up the 
light on these nefarious dens and giving to the public 
certified lists of the names of their frequenters. But 
if you convict a man of keeping a gambling hell in this 
town you have got to do it in spite of the authorities 
and not by the aid of the authorities. 

It was only this past week that a search-warrant was 
issued by one of the courts in town, and before the 
officer with his posse reached No. 522 Sixth Avenue, 
the action of the court reached there, and the house 
that is spoken of in Scripture as empty, swept, and 
garnished, was not, in point of unadorned vacuity, a 
circumstance to the innocent barrenness of the gam- 
bling-rooms in question. I do not say that the judge 
of Jefferson Market Police Court was responsible for 
the slip. I do not believe that he was, at least in any 
direct way. All that is intended by the reference 
is that the police court leaked. With hardly the 
shadow of a doubt that court, in some one of its sub- 
ordinates at any rate, stands in with the gamblers, and 
to that degree the court becomes the criminal's pro- 
tector and guardian angel. This is mentioned only as 
illustration of the fact that some people understand, 
and that all people ought to understand, that crime in 
this city is intrenched in our municipal administration, 
and that what ought to be a bulwark against crime is 


a Stronghold in its defence. We strike the same 
difficulty again when we come to matters of excise. 

No one can have followed the crusade that has 
been in progress these last weeks against unlicensed 
saloons or against saloons that have been open in un- 
licensed hours, and have a solitary shred of doubt that 
every conviction of a saloon-keeper is obtainable only 
by a square fight with the constituted authorities. 
The police do not take the initiative. What has been 
done during the last six weeks has been done because 
the outraged sentiment of decent people voicing itself 
through the press has rendered it impossible for what 
we amuse ourselves by calling the guardians of the 
public peace and virtue, vulgarly known as the police, 
to do otherwise than bring some criminals to justice, 
or at least to threaten to do so. Unless all signs are 
misleading, your average policeman or your average 
police captain is not going to disturb a criminal, if the 
criminal has means, if he can help it. 

We are saying nothing as to the connection there is 
between the criminal's means and the policeman's in- 
dulgence. We only state in explanation that it is the 
universal opinion of those who have studied longest 
and most deeply into the municipal criminality of this 
city, that every crime here has its price. I am not 
saying that that is so, but that the more intently any 
man of brains scrutinizes these matters the more he 
discovers along this line that is of an intensely inter- 
esting nature. I should not be surprised to know that 


every building in this town in which gambling or pros- 
titution or the illicit sale of liquor is carried on has 
immunity secured to it by a scale of police taxation 
that is as carefully graded and as thoroughly system- 
atized as any that obtains in the assessment of per- 
sonal property or real estate that is made for the pur- 
pose of meeting municipal, State, or Federal expenses 
current. The facts do not always get to the surface, 
but when they do they let in a great lot of light into 
the subterranean mysteries of this rum-besotted and 
Tammany-debauched town. 

Near the beginning of the year the Grand Jury con- 
sidered the matter of indicting the keeper of a noto- 
rious resort on Fourteenth Street. (I am giving the 
case as it was presented in one of our most trust- 
worthy journals, and has, I believe, not been con- 
tradicted). There was no legal evidence at hand that 
would be sufficient to convict, and the District-Attor- 
ney was asked to secure some. An innocent imagina- 
tion would have supposed that he would jump at the 
opportunity. The request was repeated by the Grand 
Jury, apparently without effect. His hesitancy may 
have been due to either one of two causes. He may 
have known so much about the establishment that he 
did not like to touch it, or he may have known so little 
about it that he was sceptical as to the truth of the 
derogatory reports that were in circulation in regard 
to it. Indeed, the District-Attorney said to me in his 
own house four weeks ago that until after McGlory's 


establishment was raided he had no idea tliat institu- 
tions of so vile a character existed in this city. All we 
can say is that we must give the young man the benefit 
of the doubt. Such a case is truly affecting. Innocence 
like that in so wicked a town ought not to be allowed 
to go abroad after dark without an escort. But to 
return to our narrative. 

Our guileless District-Attorney, with the down of 
unsuspecting innocence upon his blushing cheek, failed 
to respond to the demands for evidence made upon 
him by the Grand Jury. The jurors themselves, there- 
fore, assumed experimentally the character of detec- 
tives, and the proprietor of the place was soon caught, 
of course, in the act of illegal selling. An indictment 
was then found. It remained to secure witnesses that 
would be willing to go on the stand and testify ; for 
while the jurors were willing to visit the place and 
satisfy their own minds of the illegality of what was 
going on there, they experienced a natural delicacy in 
having their names publicly associated with such a re- 
sort in the published reports of criminal procedure. 
Accordingly instructions were given to the captain of 
the precinct to procure the necessary evidence. This 
was followed by another touching exhibition of mod- 
esty and blushing hesitancy. The fact of it is they all 
stand in with each other. It is simply one solid gang 
of rascals, half of the gang in office and the other half 
out, and the two halves steadily catering to each other 
across the official line. The captain declared reiter- 


atedly that evidence against McGlory was something 
that he could not obtain, till finally the Grand Jury 
threatened to indict the captain himself, whereupon 
the evidence was at once produced and McGlory con- 
victed upon it. All of which is only another way of 
saying that the most effective allies which McGlory 
had in the prosecution of his vile trade on Fourteenth 
Street were the District- Attorney and the captain of 
the precinct. 

Now it may be said that this method of stating the 
case is injudicious ; that it is unwise too sharply to 
antagonize the powers that be ; that convictions will 
not be obtainable if we make enemies of the men who 
exercise police and judicial functions. On the con- 
trary, there are only two kinds of argument that exer- 
cise the slightest logical urgency on the minds of that 
stripe of bandit — one is money and the other is fear. 
We shall gain nothing by disguising the facts. To 
call things by their right names is always a direct con- 
tribution to wholesome effects. A steamer can only 
make half-time in a fog. The first necessity of battle 
is to have the combatants clearly and easily distin- 
guishable by the diversity of their uniform. We want 
to know what is what. 

Every solid statement of fact is argument. Every 
time you deal with things as they are, and name them 
in honest, ringing Saxon, you have done something. It 
has always been trump-card in the devil's game to 
keep things mixed. He mixed them in Paradise, and 


he has been trying to keep them mixed ever since. If 
the powers that are managing this town are supremely 
and concertedly bent on encouraging iniquity in order 
to the strengthening of their own position, and the en- 
largement of their own capital, what, in Heaven's name, 
is the use of disguising the fact and wrapping it up in 
ambiguous euphemisms ? 

Something like a year ago, in company with a num- 
ber of gentlemen, I conferred in his office with the 
highest municipal dignitary of this city in regard to 
the slovenly and the wicked way in which he was pre- 
tending to clean our streets. In what I had to say to 
him at that time I addressed him as though he were a 
man, and as though he had the supreme interests of 
this city at heart ; and I have been ashamed of myself 
from the crown of my head to the sole of my foot ever 
since. Saying nothing about the outrage a man com- 
mits upon himself by the conscious falsification of 
facts, it does not pay. Neither the devil nor any of 
his minions can be caught in a trap. You can hammer 
him, but you cannot snare him. Cajolery only lubri- 
cates the machinery of his iniquity. Petting him oils 
the bearings; minimizes the squeak and maximizes 
the velocity. Now this is not spoken in malice. It 
is not spoken without a recognition of the fact that 
there are men occupying official place in this city 
whose chief ambition it is to discharge their duties 
incorruptibly. Of course such exceptions are due to 
circumstances that it was beyond the power of donii- 



nant influence to control. We have referred to such 
exceptions only for the purpose of anticipating the 
charge that our indictment has been harsh and indis- 

But after all that has been said the great fact re- 
mains untouched and uninvalidated, that every effort 
that is made to improve character in this city, every 
effort to make men respectable, honest, temperate, 
and sexually clean is a direct blow between the eyes 
of the Mayor and his whole gang of drunken and lech- 
erous subordinates, in this sense that while we fight 
iniquity they shield and patronize it ; while we try to 
convert criminals they manufacture them ; and they 
have a hundred dollars invested in manufacturing 
machinery to our one invested in converting machinery. 
And there is no scheme in this direction too colossal 
for their ambition to plan and to push. At this very 
time, in reliance upon the energies of evil that domi- 
nate this city, there is being urged at Albany the pas- 
sage of a bill that will have for its effect to leave 
the number of liquor licenses unrestricted, to forbid 
all attempts to obtain proof of illicit sales, to legalize 
the sale of liquor after one o'clock on Sunday afternoon, 
and indeed to keep open bar i6o out of i68 hours of 
every week. Sin never gets tired ; never is low- 
spirited ; has the courage of its convictions ; never 
fritters away its power and its genius pettifogging 
over side issues. What voluminous lessons the saints 
might learn from the sinners ! 


We speak of tliese things because it is our business 
as the pastor of a Christian church to speak of them. 
You know that we are not slow to insist upon keen- 
ness of spiritual discernment, or upon the reticent 
vigor of a life hid with Christ in God. Piety is the 
genius of the entire matter ; but piety, when it fronts 
sin, has got to become grit. Salt is a concrete com- 
modity, and requires to be rubbed into the very pores 
of decay. I scarcely ever move into the midst of the 
busier parts of this town without feeling in a pained 
way how little of actual touch there is between the 
life of the church and the life of the times. As we saw 
last Sabbath morning, we must have a consciousness 
of God, but the truth complementary to that is that 
we must have just as lively a consciousness of the 
world we are living in, Men ought to have that, and 
women ought to have it too. Nobody that can read 
is excusable for not knowing what is transpiring. 
And Christians of either sex ought to know it and 
ought to want to know it ; ought to feel that it is part 
of their own legitimate concern to know it. 

We have no criticism to pass on the effort to im- 
prove the quality of the civilization in Central Africa, 
but it would count more in the moral life of the world 
to have this city, where the heart of the country beats, 
dominated in its life and government by the ethical 
principles insisted on by the Gospel, than to have a 
belt of evangelical light a hundred miles broad thrown 
clear across the Dark Continent. And the men and 


women that live here are the ones to do it. It is 
achievable. What Christianity has done Christianity 
can do. And when it is done it is going to be done 
by the men and women who stand up and make a 
business of the thing, and quit playing with it ; quit 
imagining that somehow we are going, by some inde- 
scribable means, to drift into a better state of things. 
Say all you please about the might of the Holy 
Ghost, every step in the history of an ameliorated civ- 
ilization has cost just so much personal push. You 
and I have something to do about it. If we have a 
brain, or a heart, or a purse, and sit still and let 
things take their course, making no sign, uttering no 
protest, flinging ourselves into no endeavor, the times 
will eventually sit in judgment upon us, and they will 
damn us. Christianity is here for an object. The 
salt is here for a purpose. If your Christianity is not 
vigorous enough to help save this country and this 
city, it is not vigorous enough to do anything toward 
saving you. Reality is not worn out. The truth is 
not knock-kneed. The incisive edge of bare-bladed 
righteousness will still cut. Only it has got to be 
righteousness that is not afraid to stand up, move 
into the midst of iniquity and shake itself. The 
humanly incarnated principles of this Gospel were 
able in three centuries to change the moral com- 
plexion of the whole Roman Empire ; and there is 
nothing the matter with the Christianity here except 
that the incarnations of it are lazy and cowardly, and 


think more of their personal comfort than they do of 
municipal decency, and more of their dollars than they 
do of a city that is governed by men who are not 
tricky and beastly. 

But you ask me perhaps what is the use of all this 
asseveration and vituperation ; what is the good of 
protesting ? What is the good of protesting ? Do 
you know what the word Protestant means ? Do you 
know that a Protestant is nothing but a protestant ? A 
man who protests ? And did not the men who pro- 
tested in the sixteenth century do a good deal ? Didn't 
they start a volcano beneath the crust of the whole of 
European civilization ? Wherever you have a Luther, 
a grand stick of human timber, all afire with holy in- 
dignation, a man of God, who is not too lymphatic to 
get off his knees, or too cowardly to come out of his 
closet, confront iniquity, look it in the eye, plaster it 
with its baptismal name — such a man can start a ref- 
ormation and a revolution every day in the year if 
there are enough of them to go around. Why, it 
makes no difference how thick the darkness is, a ray 
of light will cut it if it is healthy and spry. 

Do you know that the newspapers had not been 
solidly at work for more than about four weeks before 
the dives began to close up ? Why, the truth will 
frighten even a policeman, if you will lodge it where 
David did when he fired at Goliath. Truth, with ex- 
plosive enough behind it, would scare even the captain 
of a precinct, and chase the blushes from the callow 


face of the District-Attorney. We have had an ex- 
ample of that recently on a larger scale in the matter 
of the Louisiana lottery. The whole country was 
kindled into a flame of indignation, and the lottery 
men bowed before the storm. And, so far as the 
North was concerned, it was principally the doing of 
one man, too, a man who had a head, heart, and con- 
victions, and a pen and lungs to back them. 

You see that these things do not go by arithmetic, 
nor by a show of hands. A man who is held in the 
grip of the everlasting truth and is not afraid is a 
young army in himself. That is exactly what the 
Bible means when it says that one man shall chase a 
thousand. That is the way history has always gone. 
That is what the Bible story of Sodom means and the 
assurance that ten men would have sufficed to save it. 
Not ten that were scared, but ten men that so had 
the courage of their convictions, and that so appreci- 
ated the priestliness of the office to which they had 
been called that the multitudinousness of the dirty 
crowd they stood up among neither dashed their con- 
fidence nor quenched their testimony. 

This is not bringing politics into the pulpit, politics 
as such. The particular political stripe of a munici- 
pal administration is no matter of our interest, and 
none of our business ; but to strike at iniquity is a 
part of the business of the Church ; indeed, it is the 
business of the Church. It is primarily what the 
Church is for, no matter in what connection that sin 


may find itself associated and intermixed. If it fall 
properly within the jurisdiction of this church to try 
to convert Third Avenue drunkards from their alco- 
holism, then certainly it is germane to the functions of 
this church to strike the sturdiest blows it is capable 
of at a municipal administration whose supreme mis- 
sion it is to protect, foster, and propagate alcoholism. 
If it is proper for us to go around cleaning up after 
the devil, it is proper for us to fight the devil. If it 
is right to cure, it is right to prevent, and a thousand 
times more economical and sagacious. If we are not, 
as a church, transcending our jurisdiction by attempt- 
ing to convert Third Avenue prostitutes from their 
harlotry, then surely we are within the pale of our 
authority as a church when we antagonize and bear 
prophetic testimony against an administration the one 
necessary outcome of whose policy it is to breed pros- 
titutes. Republicans and Democrats we have nothing 
to do with, but sin it is our particular province to 
ferret out, to publish, and in unadorned Saxon to stig- 
matize ; and the more influential the position in which 
that sin is intrenched, the more painstaking and pro- 
nounced requires to be our analysis, and the more 
exempt from hesitancy and euphemism our charac- 

The only object of my appeal this morning has been 
to sound a distinct note, and to quicken our Christian 
sense of the obligatory relation in which we stand 
toward the official and administrative criminality that 


is filthifying our entire municipal life, making New- 
York a very hot-bed of knavery, debauchery, and 
bestiality, in the atmosphere of which, and at the cor- 
rosive touch of which, there is not a young man so 
noble, nor a young girl so pure, as not to be in a de- 
gree infected by the fetid contamination. There is 
no malice in this, any more than there would be if 
we were talking about cannibalism in the South Sea 
Islands ; only that having to live in the midst of it, 
and having to pay taxes to help support it, and hav- 
ing nine-tenths of our Christian effort neutralized and 
paralyzed by the damnable pressure of it, naturally 
our thoughts are strained to a little snugger tension. 

I have meant to be unprejudiced in my position, and 
conservative in my demands, but, Christian friends, we 
have got to have a better world, and we have got to 
have a better city than this is, and men who feel 
iniquity keenly and who are not afraid to stand up 
and hammer it unflinchingly and remorselessly, and 
never get tired of hammering it, are the instruments 
God has always used to the defeat of Satan and to the 
bringing in of a better day. The good Lord take 
the fog out of our eyes, the paralysis out of our nerves, 
and the limp out of our muscles, and the meanness 
out of our praise, show to us our duty, and reveal 
to us our superb opportunity, making of every man 
and woman among us a prophet, instinct with a long- 
ing so intense that we shall not be afraid, loving 
righteousness with a loyalty so impassioned that we 


shall feel the might of it and trust it, and our lives 
become this day enlisted in the maintenance of the 
right, and thus show that Almighty God is mightier 
than all the ranks of Satan that challenge His claims 
and dispute His blessed progress. 



The discourse recorded in the foregoing chapter 
was largely reproduced in the daily journals appearing 
the next morning. The editorial comments which it 
provoked helped to show the general attitude of the 
public mind at the time, and the reader will probably 
be pleased to have a number of them quoted at this 
point as an essential part of the narrative. Most of 
these extracts criticised the discourse adversely ; but, 
as in almost every case the journals from which quo- 
tations are made have since that time become vigor- 
ous and unflinching in their warfare against the same 
evils and evil-doers against which the discourse itself 
was directed, we have in no instance specified the au- 
thorship of the extracts. This book is not written for 
the purpose of paying off old scores, but with the de- 
sign of giving an honest history of the campaign. 

" The ability of the Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, pastor of the 
Madison Square Presbyterian Church of New York, in 
the use of vituperative epithet, unsparing denunciation, 
and intemperate anathema, has been for some time 
fully recognized. His public utterances, which have 


most attracted attention, have been of the malediction 
type, whether appHed to theological wrestling with his 
associate divines, or used in cursings of municipal au- 
thorities. His latest objects of attack are the city of- 
ficers of New York, whom he lashes and characterizes as 
a ' damnable pack of administrative bloodhounds.' 
An uneducated person, covering in public the scope of 
the condemnation effort of Dr. Parkhurst last Sunday, 
would probably, by our laws, get ' ten dollars, or 
thirty. days in the workhouse' at the hands of Judge 

" Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, of New York, fired a broadside 
at the Tammany tiger last Sunday that has raised 
howls from all parts of the Democratic jungle, and a 
dozen cubs are snapping and snarling at the good 
man's heels. There is little cause for hope that the 
ugly brute can yet be driven from his lair, but it will 
do no harm to give him an occasional stirring up from 
the pulpit or through the press." 

" Dr. Parkhurst undertook to say too much — and said 
it. His is just the kind of opposition or denunciation 
on which public offenders thrive. A mentor or a muz- 
zle is what he needs. He mistakes epithets for 

" Yesterday he delivered probably the most scathing 
denunciation of the present administrative government 
of New York, which means Tammany Hall, ever ut- 
tered, not excepting political speeches during a cam- 
paign. Some portions of this striking address are re- 
produced in our columns to-day. They should be con- 


sidered in connection with Hon. Richard Croker's 
article in the current North American Review. Croker 
is Grand Sachem of Tammany Hall, and in the arti- 
cle referred to, he not only defends Tammany control 
of New York, but claims that it ought to be extended, 
and brazenly declares war to the knife on any citizens 
who, in their love of good government, dare to oppose 
Tammany, openly or in secret." 

" Dr. Parkhurst's sermon on the iniquity of Tammany 
will serve to strengthen the impression that the less 
the pulpit has to do with politics the better, even 
though it be vice that is struck at. The whole respon- 
sibility for setting the world right does not rest with 
the clergy. The newspapers are capable of doing a 
good deal of preaching themselves, and Dr. Parkhurst 
perhaps has invaded their field." 

" The Rev. Dr. Parkhurst's vigorous arraignment of 
our local administration has aroused the wrath of 
those whom he charged with promoting vice and 
crime and corruption in this city. There is no reason 
to regret the manifestation of distress by anybody 
whom the preacher's shafts pierced, but if that is the 
only effect produced the gain will be small. Denuncia- 
tion of the rulers of New York was not the end of 
Dr. Parkhurst's discourse. He designed it rather to 
be the means of arousing his hearers and as many other 
citizens as possible to a sense of their own responsi- 
bility for the fact and consequences of bad govern- 
ment. Such utterances are useful because they at 
least tend to create and stimulate public sentiment, 
and their ultimate value cannot be exactly measured 


bv tlic iinnifdiate effects which they produce. But it 
is a shame and a pity that they are so largely wasted. 
For it must be acknowledged that the visible results of 
vigorous and repeated assaults upon the secret society 
by which New York is pillaged and variously maltreated 
are not conspicuous. 

" Dr. Parkhurst has done as much as one man can do 
by a single appeal to arouse the community from this 
moral lethargy. What will his sermon accomplish ? 
Something, we hope, yet we fear very little. But those 
who heard, or have read it, if they are in sympathy 
with its purpose, cannot escape the responsibility im- 
posed on them. They can make it potent, if they will." 

" The habit of some emotional preachers of reflecting 
upon the characters and habits of public officials, or 
people who do not subscribe to their ultra views on 
social questions, got the Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, of the 
Madison Square Presbyterian Church in New York, in 
trouble. The officials of New York City are talking 
about calling upon him to substantiate his charge that 
they are a lying, rum-soaked, libidinous lot, before the 
Grand Jury. If he fails to do this, then they contem- 
plate having him indicted as a slanderer. 

" Men in the pulpit have no more right to slander 
their fellow-men than anybody else. They are, in 
fact, under a greater moral obligation than other men 
to refrain from making accusations or repeating state- 
ments that they cannot verify under oath. The pulpit 
would have more influence in the affairs of life if all 
preachers were controlled in their criticisms of public 
men and measures by a strict observance of this 


" It is believed that Dr. Parkhurst's remarks to-mor- 
row will be less scathing and virulent than those of a 
week previous. The doctor has been engaged during 
the past few days in picking the bird shot of public 
opinion out of his anatomy, and is in a somewhat sub- 
dued and chastened spirit, we take it." 

" The Rev. Charles H. Parkhurst has given New 
Yorkers something to think about. His sermon yester- 
day was directed against the evils of the city govern- 
ment with extreme vigor. Indeed so fierce were the 
speaker's denunciations, so wholesale his charges, and 
so reckless his insinuations, that it may be questioned 
whether the sermon will produce much effect upon 
thinking men. New York is not well governed, but 
probably the city knows it as well as Mr. Parkhurst." 

" We hope that every good citizen of New York will 
read the admirable report of the Rev. Dr. Charles 
H. Parkhurst's rousing sermon yesterday morning at 
the Madison Square Presbyterian Church. 

" It was the severest indictment of this Tammany- 
debauched municipal government that has been made. 
It is a good sign when the ministers of this city fmd 
time and tongue to denounce our monstrous misgov- 
ernment. More than one eloquent preacher has of 
late raised his voice in protest against the iniquities 
with which we are surrounded and the oppression under 
which we live. 

" The slumbering indignation of the people is begin- 
ning to break forth like a volcano, and its echoes will 
not die out until the rascals have been turned out." 


'' I'he Rev. Dr. ParkhursL 'look on dreadful' last 
Sunday, ^^'itll well feigned virtuous indignation he 
rhetorically assaulted the whole municipal outfit, 
plainly stating that the officials, from Mayor Grant 
down to the latest Dago appointment in Tom Bren- 
nan's street-cleaning force, were the silent partners of 
all the enterprising criminals in town. 

" Dr. Parkhurst would be entitled to all the way from 
five to five hundred years' penal servitude for such an 
assertion, if it were to be levelled at specific individuals. 
The city government of New York may not be free 
from corruption, but the bulk of our officials are gen- 
tlemen of character and honesty. 

" Dr. Parkhurst is not a safe guide. 

*' If he knows no more of Christianity than he does of 
politics he will be likely to lead his flock of sheep into 
a moral quagmire, and, perhaps, to a certain frequently 
mentioned bottomless pit. 

" The reverend doctor should have remembered the 
commandment, ' Thou shalt not bear false witness 
against thy neighbor,' an offence not far removed 
from murder, since it may kill a reputation and ruin 
a life. 

" Invective to be effective should be pointed with the 
shining arrow of truth." 

" Tammany Hall still keeps up its pretence of being 
inexpressibly shocked at the ' sad degradation ' of the 
pulpit by Dr. Parkhurst of the Madison Square Pres- 
byterian Church. It w^ould suit Tammany exactly if 
the pulpit were to keep its artillery trained on the 
wickedness of man before the flood, or try to reduce 
and capture the Tov/er of Babel, or to blow daylight 


through the persecuting Emperor Nero. Indeed Tam- 
many does not care if it comes down to as modern a 
theme as the sceptical chestnuts of the eighteenth 

" But when it begins on nineteenth century crime, 
corruption, and public robbery, Tammany's delicate 
moral sense, Tammany's exquisite religious tact, Tam- 
many's fervor for the gospel of mediaeva' theology is 
aroused, and the Rev. Dr. Parkhurst is unanimously 
pronounced — by Tammany — a shameless debaser and 
abuser of the pulpit." 

" These are specific charges. If they are true, the 
public officers concerned ought to be impeached and 
imprisoned as the abettors of crime, the partners of 
criminals, false servants of the people, and characters 
dangerous to the community and disgraceful to civiliza- 
tion. As they are specific charges, it is, of course, 
incumbent on this preacher to sustain them with 
specific facts and proofs. 

" He made them publicly, and uttered them within a 
house of Divine worship, as if they were the words of 
God Himself. He denounced the officers of the mu- 
nicipal government as a whole, and these officers in 
particular, as utterly vile and rotten, the fosterers of 
crime instead of its prosecutors. Either he spoke 
from knowledge and with precise facts to support his 
infamous charges, or he is a vile liar and slanderer, 
who should be driven from the Christian pulpit and 
subjected by the civil law to the criminal punishment 
he deserves. 

" Let Dr. Parkhurst, therefore, be called upon to sub- 
stantiate his charges before the Grand Jury, so that 


the men he denounces thus specifically may be in- 
dicted, tried, and punished ; or if he is unable to pre- 
sent any facts justifying them, let him be indicted, 
tried, and punished himself as a wicked, malicious, 
reckless, and criminal slanderer. 

" District-Attorney Nicoll owes it to the preacher, to 
himself, and to the interests of justice generally, to 
bring to account the Rev. Charles H. Parkhurst, D. D. 
His charges as uttered from the Madison Square 
pulpit have been published to all the world, and as 
coming from such a source they will be believed very 
widely and cause great damage to the reputation of 
the individuals assailed and of the community which 
keeps them in office. Hence it is the imperative duty 
of the District-Attorney to take proceedings to make 
Dr. Parkhurst prove his words or be made criminally 
answerable for them." 

" A general denunciation like that of Dr. Parkhurst 
creates indignation in the breasts of such officials, and 
leads to reprisals, which generate sympathy. In this 
way reaction is brought about, which negatives the 
good aimed at by the preacher. // is also an injury to 
religion, because it lowers the public estimate of the judg- 
ment ivhich issues from the pulpit. We are far from 
thinking that a clergyman should not denounce wicked- 
ness in high or low places, whether the parties be in 
official or private station, but such denunciations 
should be calm and dispassionate, and, above all, they 
should be free from exaggeration ; for, unless this be 
the case, they do more harm than good." 

" It is not at all likely that such sermons as that 
preached by Dr. Parkhurst in Madison Square Presby- 


terian Church, Sunday morning last, make the world 
any better ; and it is certain that such violent and 
intemperate utterances from the pulpit do the Church 
positive injury. 

" It is not news that Tammany is worldly and wicked, 
but it is not becoming in a minister of the gospel to 
loudly proclaim from the pulpit that 'they are a lying, 
perjured, rum-soaked, and lascivious lot.' " 

" The Rev. Charles H. Parkhurst ought to read and 
ponder that one of the commandments which con- 
demns the bearing of false witness, and that passage 
which has something to say about ' railing accusa- 
tions.' He will do well to reflect upon the impropriety 
of extravagant overstatement, the sin of exaggeration, 
and the care a clergyman should take to know what he 
is talking about before indulging in the intemperate 
abuse and denunciation of his fellow-men. There is 
much to criticise in New York municipal government, 
but nothing to excuse so violent an outburst of vitu- 
peration as that which Mr. Parkhurst preached for a 
sermon yesterday. A delicate regard for truth and 
justice is as important in the pulpit as elsewhere." 

" One Parkhurst, who bears by courtesy and custom 
the title 'reverend,' and preaches the gospel accord- 
ing to St. Billingsgate from the pulpit of the Madison 
Square Presbyterian Church, New York, attacked all 
the officials of that city last Sunday, calling them col- 
lectively * a damnable pack of administrative blood- 
hounds,' 'polluted harpies,' and 'a lying, perjured, 
rum-soaked, and libidinous lot." Furthermore, the 
reverend gentleman, standing under the consecrated 

OUR FIGHT wrrii tammany 35 

roof of the holy edifice, declared that 'every effort to 
make men respectable, honest, temperate, and sexually 
clean is a direct blow between the eyes of the Mayor 
and his whole gang of drunken and lecherous subor- 
dinates.' There was a time when reckless vitupera- 
tion and ' slangwhanging' of this sort disgraced the 
editorial columns of the press and afforded satirists 
theme for stinging caricatures." 

To these editorial criticisms I will only add three or 
four extracts from reported interviews with as many 
city officials. 

Police Captain said 

" That it was a shame for a minister of the Gospel 
to disgrace the pulpit by such utterances. 

" When he says that the heads of the departments 
in this city are a lying, drunken class he deliberately 
tells a falsehood. No man of good judgment would 
utter such a thing about men who are so temperate, 
reliable, and honorable." 

" Such intemperate utterances," said Public Works 

" Answer themselves. They have no weight with 
sensible people. It is doubtless true that the munici- 
pal government is open to criticism, as everything 
human must be. It is even possible that abuses exist 
in some of the departments ; but if we are to have re- 
forms they can never be brought about by such pal- 
pable misstatements of facts. This minister of the 
Gospel shows a most uncharitable spirit in his intern- 


perate ravings, and violates the first law of Christianity, 
by stating what he knows to be false, if he knows any- 
thing about it." 

Another public official indicated his jealous concern 
for the cause of Christianity in these terms : 

" Dr. Parkhurst violates the command which says, 
' Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neigh- 
bor.' His discourse was unworthy of the man and of 
the place. It is just such utterances that belittle the 
influence of the clergy and retard the cause of Chris- 

It is a singular, but by no means inexplicable coinci- 
dence, that those officials that are most in league with 
crime, and those journals that are most distinctly rep- 
resentative of the gambling-table and the brothel, 
were the ones that in their criticisms most profusely 
affected the phrases of piety and wept the bitterest 
tears over the dishonor I had put upon the pulpit and 
the Christian ministry. 

Commissioner of the Police Board said : 

" Ordinarily, language of this kind should be passed 
over without notice, but the harsh tone of Mr. Park- 
hurst's sermon is unchristianlike, and if allowed to go 
unnoticed would be a tacit admission of guilt. 

" Heretofore, I believe. Dr. Parkhurst has been de- 
voting himself to preaching the Gospel and doing 
good, but when he stoops to such abuse of public offi- 
cials, and that from the pulpit, he ought to lose caste 
among his own listeners. 


"The language used by the gentleman is vulgar. It 
is a libel upon the city when he says that every crime 
has its price. If such a tiling as protection by the 
police does exist, it is his duty to come forward with 
the information. 

"I should not be surprised, however, if this is not 
the beginning of a series of tirades finding its nucleus 
in a new political movement intended to antagonize 
and combat a certain political organization. I will, 
however, be charitable, and admit that Dr. Parkhurst 
has been imposed upon by some people who have come 
to him with stories of the alleged deplorable condition 
of our city." 

Police Commissioner said : 

"Everything the doctor said was untrue. It would 
seem as if it were meant as a political movement in 
opposition to Tammany." 

If there was any doubt in his mind then, as to what 
it " meant," he is probably well over his uncertainty 



In my discourse of February 14th, I had said noth- 
ing that was not true, but I had said a good many 
things that I was not at that time in a condition to 
prove. The air was full of feathers and fur, indicat- 
ing that a variety of flying fowl and creeping beast 
had been hit; but I had waked up a whole jungle of 
teeth-gnashing brutes, and it was a question whether 
the hunter was going to bag the game or the game 
make prey of the hunter. 

The demand was openly made that I should either 
prove my charges or be prosecuted for libel. Legal 
talent, as eminent as any the town afforded, was im- 
mediately put at my gratuitous service in case libel 
suits should be pressed. It soon began to be ru- 
mored that the District-Attorney was planning to ex- 
periment on me before the Grand Jury. Of course 
the City Hall authorities appreciated the truth of the 
charges I had made, and that was just what was the 
matter ; and if they had supposed that I could sub- 
stantiate my charges, the thing they would most 
studiously and affectionately have done would have 

OUR FIGHT wrrii tammany 39 

been to let me alone. But they were of the opinion 
(and the fact justified the opinion) that I had not for- 
tified myself with the details of legal proof necessary 
to substantiate my charges, and they were willing to 
take the risk of applying the mild inquisition of the 
Grand Jury, knowing that the secrecy under which 
that tribunal conducts its seances would help to se- 
cure suspected officials from inconvenience in case it 
should turn out that I knew more than they supposed. 
It is impossible not to remark, parenthetically, what a 
convenient arrangement a Grand Jury may prove to 
be, if its members can be " trusted," and there is a 
problematic field of inquiry which the District-Attor- 
ney's office would like to have traversed without in- 
volving itself or its friends in any considerable peril. 

Naturally enough, a subpoena was issued requiring 
my attendance before the Grand Jury. This was on 
the 23d of February. It was not as difficult to get 
before the Grand Jury then as it has been a good 
many times since. The atmosphere of the room was 
distinctly uncongenial. I was not able to inform the 
Jury that the charges which I had made had their 
foundation in anything other than uncontradicted 
newspaper statements. Whether they said that it was 
an indictable offence for me to accuse officials of 
criminality with which reputable journals systemati- 
cally charged them without being indicted, I do not 
remember, — that is, I am not at liberty to repeat. The 
sum and substance of it all was that I could not swear 


as of my own knowledge that the District-Attorney 
had lived an immoral life, that police officers were 
blackmailers, that police justices encouraged bunco- 
steering and abortion, or that the entire Tammany or- 
ganization was not a disguised wing of the Prohibition 
Party ; and the foreman politely indicated to me that 
further attendance on my part would not be required. 

As I recall that session it occurs to me to say that 
while I did not give them a great deal, I learned a 
lot. I was distinctly worsted ; cheerful, but whipped. 
As I withdrew from that august presence I recorded 
in my heart a solemn vow, five years long, that I 
would never again be caught in the presence of the 
enemy without powder and shot in my gun-barrel. It 
was severe schooling, but I shall be wiser clear into the 
next world for what I learned on the 23d of February. 

One week later, on the first day of March, the 
Grand Jury issued its presentment, which, while not 
mentioning the name of the offender, was evidently 
enough designed as a rebuke for the terms in which I 
had referred to the District-Attorney in particular, 
and to the members of the municipal administration 
in general. 

The text of the presentment was as follows : 

To the Court of General Sessions of the Peace of the 

City and County of JVeiv York : 
To the Hoji. Randolph B. Marline, Presiding Jtidge : 

During the present term of this court there were 
published in the journals of this city, as the accounts 


of a discourse delivered from the pulpit of one of 
our churches, certain accusations against the charac- 
ters and fitness of the officials charged with the duty 
of administering our municipal government. 

The imputations were not limited to any particular 
branch of the city government, but in sweeping terms 
condemned the entire body of officials in language so 
lacking in specification, however, that, with one excep- 
tion, no cognizance could be taken of them. 

One- assertion, however, was sufliciently specific as 
to warrant attention by this body, namely, the declara- 
tion to the effect that the District- Attorney had, in 
November, 1891, refused to supply, although in his 
power to do so, evidence required by the Grand Jury 
then in session, for the purpose of founding a prose- 
cution against a notorious and disreputable resort, the 
proprietor of which has since been convicted and is 
now undergoing the penalty of the law ; and that by 
such refusal and neglecting to proceed against the pro- 
prietor of such resort, the District-Attorney had en- 
couraged him in its conduct and maintenance. 

Soon after the publication of these statements the 
District-Attorney requested us to send for the author 
of them and ascertain their truth or falsity, a request 
which we were not slow to grant, inasmuch as the 
District- Attorney is the legal adviser of the Grand Jury, 
and necessarily brought into daily association with it. 

We therefore caused to attend and be examined 
before us the author of the statements in question, 
and all other persons who could throw light on their 
truth or falsity, and, after a thorough investigation, 
desire to present to the court as follows : 

We find the author of the charges had no evidence 


lipon which to base them, except alleged newspaper 
reports, which in the form published had no founda- 
tion in fact. 

We find that no request was ever made to the Dis- 
trict-Attorney to supply the Grand Jury with any evi- 
dence in the matter named, and that upon the trial 
of the indictment the District-Attorney presented to 
the court evidence collected wholly by himself, and 
that a conviction was obtained by him without refer- 
ence to the testimony taken before the Grand Jury. 

We desire further to express our disapproval and 
condemnation of unfounded charges of this character, 
which, whatever may be the motive in uttering them, 
can only serve to create a feeling of unwarranted dis- 
trust-in the minds of the community with regard to 
the integrity of public officials, and tends only to hin- 
der the prompt administration of justice. 

Dated New York, February 29, 1892. 

(Signed) Henry S. Herrman, Foreman. 

D. W. O'Halloran, Secrctaj-y. 

After the Grand Jury's presentment Judge Martine 
made a statement, of which the following is a copy : 

Mr. Foreman and Gentlemen of the Grand Jury : 
It is gratifying indeed to find that your body has 
seen fit to make some investigation of the attack, such 
as was made in the public press by a certain gentle- 
man in this community. Coming, as it does, from a 
clergyman, coming from one who naturally, from his 
calling, has some standing and repute in this com- 
munity, it is quite natural that some credence 
should be given to the statement, and quite fair 


to assLuno that a person of that character would 
not make any unwarranted and unfounded attacks, 
and the public might assume that there was some 
basis for the attack, or was at the time it was made, 
when it had gained such publicity in the public press. 

It was an attack upon the of^cials in this commu- 
nity. An attack of this character has the effect usually 
to bring officials into contempt and into disrepute, but 
when it is suggested that they are guilty of malfeas- 
ance and misconduct in office, and suggested that they 
failed to discharge the duties of office, and had gone 
a step further, to refuse to aid or assist those who 
wanted to bring about an investigation of crime, then 
it becomes a serious accusation calling for an investi- 
gation by such a body as yours. 

After the first inquiry — after the first suggestion of 
official inquiry — the people came to comprehend that 
there was no foundation for the accusation, and it is 
indeed gratifying to find that after your investigation 
there was nothing but rumor, nothing but hearsay, to 
base any accusation upon. It is an easy matter to 
bring a public officer into disrepute, and then a difficult 
matter for a public officer to reinstate himself in the 
confidence of the public. Gentlemen, in this case I 
think you have done what you should have done. The 
District-.\ttorney of this county was your legal ad- 
viser. You confined your examination as to an in- 
vestigation of the attacks made against him. 

The person who made the accusations against him 
must have some reason of his own ; either a desire for 
public notoriety, or he may have believed it might result 
in some general good, or what not — what his motives 
may have been I can't say ; but it may well seem, a 


person occupying his station, a person in his calling, 
should be careful before making such an accusation un- 
less he had some just foundation for it. 

The foregoing from the Grand Jury and from the 
Bench was intended as a quietus, and was so inter- 
preted by the City Officials, by Tammany Hall, and by 
the public journals published in its interests. Brief 
editorial extracts from half a dozen or so of such 
journals, are the following : 

" The best employment to which the Rev. Dr. Park- 
hurst can now devote himself is prolonged prayer and 
repentance to atone for the grievous sin of which he 
has been guilty. An appropriate place wherein to 
give him the opportunity to subject himself to such 
spiritual mortification would be a penitentiary cell." 

" It appears now, however, that the Rev. Dr. Park- 
hurst is the sort of clergyman with which the public 
has been already too familiar in times past ; a kind of 
political pulpiteer who pounds ' the pulpit, drum eccle- 
siastic,' for the sake of filling the public ear and draw- 
ing a big audience, or congregation as he would call 
it, to his discourses. This takes the place of inspira- 
tion from the Bible and the ministerial work of 'bring- 
ing sinners to repentance,' and the result of it would 
be, in any event, to bring the pulpit into contempt." 

" We presume that New York is governed about as 
badly as the other cities of the State, and that is saying 
a great deal; but it cannot he governed as badly as 
certain metropolitan papers represent, unless New 


York is a community of idiots and criminals. When 
we see in a New York newspaper a long list of men, 
responsible for the oovernnvjnt of the city, with 
charges appended to the name of each varying from 
murder in the first degree to larceny from the person, 
we no longer shudder at the awfulness of the exposi- 
tion ; we laugh at its absurdity." 

" These well-meaning people who go off half cocked 
are a -terror and a stumbling-block to every good 
cause. They hastily generalize, make rash and reck- 
less statements and then are compelled to eat their 
words. They make themselves ridiculous and their 
future utterances arc discounted about fifty per cent." 

" It was this sort of thing that misled Dr. Parkhurst. 
He no tloubt meant well. He saw certain grave 
charges in the public prints against the integrity of 
city ofiicials, and believed it to be his duty as a min- 
ister to start a crusade. But the specific charges he 
made, on newspaper evidence, were baseless, and his 
crusade turns out a fiasco." 

It was while matters were in this troubled condi- 
tion (on the very day in fact, that the Presentment 
against me was adopted), that, in company with Mr. 
Moss, counsel for the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime, and Frank Lewis, our detective, I visited the 
District-Attorney at his oftice and asked him to aid 
me ii* bringing a number of excise cases before the 
Grand Jury. These cases, six or seven in number, 
which had been prepared with a good deal of care, 
were against liquor-dealers who were known to have 


a good deal of "pull " with the authorities, and whom 
therefore, it was presumable, neither the District-At 
torney nor the Police Justices would jump at tht 
chance of inconveniencing or convicting. The names 
of these liquor-dealers were furnished us by a gen- 
tleman who, although in close intimacy with many 
members of the organization we were fighting, has, 
nevertheless, been in constant and silent alliance with 
ourselves, and to whom we have now for nearly three 
years been under continuous obligation. Indeed it 
may here be remarked that a part, at least, of the ac- 
curacy and assurance with which we have been able 
to speak touching the condition of the Police Depart- 
ment and the Municipal Administration, is due to the 
testimony of parties who were either close to Tam- 
many or even inside of it, but who secretly desired its 

But to return to our excise cases. It made very 
little difference to us whether we were able to obtain 
conviction or not ; cases of this kind were certain to 
win publicity through the press ; and the more con- 
spicuous the case, if only our proofs were not at fault, 
the greater would be the effect produced upon the 
popular mind if the case went against us : for from 
first to last our object has not been to convict crimi- 
nals so much as to convince the public that under the 
existing condition of things, criminals run little or no 
risk of being convicted. 

It was a Monday morning that we three went into 


the att()rne3^'s office. On entering, there was precipi- 
tated a condition of awkwardness in which there were 
combined in about equal degree, elements of the sub- 
lime and the ridiculous. Without any excessive dis- 
play of hospitality on his. part, but with his eyes glued 
upon me with an expression of amusement and dis- 
pleasure, I approached the District-Attorney saying: 

"'Mr. District-Attorney, the report has emanated 
from your office two or three times lately that you 
find it difificult to procure evidence sufficient to con- 
vict in cases of violation of the excise laws, etc. Now, 
we should love to be of assistance to you, and I have 
with me a number of cases of violations that occurred 
yesterday upon which we have secured important evi- 
dence. I am here to ask if you will be so kind as to 
bring us before the Grand Jury this morning and give 
us an opportunity to present these cases to them.' 

" The District-Attorney said in reply : 

" ' Dr. Parkhurst, I refuse to have any official commu- 
nication with you till you have withdrawn the falsehoods 
that you have spoken against me from your pulpit.' 

"I said to him, 'That being the case I will ask our 
counsel, Mr. Moss, to confer with you in my stead,' 
and put in Mr. Moss's hands the list of cases, with the 
request that he should turn them over to Mr. Nicoll. 
He did so. Mr. Nicoll glanced at them, gave them 
back to Mr. Moss, saying that he did not care to keep 
them, that he would see that we came before the Grand 
Jury and that they could do with the cases as they liked." 


I have been thus expHcit in the recital of this scene 
for the reason that so much hung upon it. There 
were two attitudes which Mr. Nicoll might have as- 
sumed : he could have done precisely the thing that 
he did do, avail of the resources of his office to em- 
barrass the efforts that were being made to secure the 
enforcement of law ; or he could have jumped to 
the altitude of his opportunity and said : " Yes, Dr. 
Parkhurst ; your object is identical with that of this 
office. You are jealous for the enforcement of law, 
and so are we. Anything that we can do to strength- 
en your hands shall be done. I will do all I can to 
make access to the Grand Jury easy and satisfactory 
to you and to your Society." Had Nicoll taken that 
attitude, the probability is that little more, compara- 
tively speaking, would have have been heard of our 
movement. The victory which we have gained has 
not been gained so much by our fighting as by the in- 
judicious precipitancy with which our movement has 
been opposed. Like a bird, we slid up on the wind 
that was blowing in our faces. If Nicoll had known 
that morning, what kind of stuff the Society for the 
Prevention of Crime was made of, and had had five 
minutes to recover from the personal prostration 
from which, since the 14th of February he had been 
suffering, his native shrewdness would have gained the 
better of his personal pique and he would have seized 
the opportunity and thrown me. 



The charges made from my pulpit on the 14th of 
February I was unable, at that time, to substantiate. 
They were founded on rumor. I was twitted upon 
that fact from the District-Attorney's office, the Grand- 
Jury room, and the Judge's bench. Probably not one 
of those who made ofificial jest of my discomfiture but 
knew that all which I charged was true, and that if I 
had charged a great deal more, it would have been 
equally true. That, however, did not at all help the 
Society for the Prevention of Crime or its cause. 
There were only two alternatives open ; either the 
battle must stop where it was, or I must be able to 
say " I know." The challenge had been thrown 
down, and I must either pick it up or allow the cause 
to go by default. 

The power to stand up and say " I know " would 
have to be earned by a tour of personal inspection, 
and how much that means it is not part of our pres- 
ent purpose to relate, save to say that it afforded con- 
fessed enemies a point of assault, and gave to doubt- 
ing friends material for no end of misgiving. 


It has been said that it would have served the same 
purpose if the work had been done by the Society's 
detectives, — a position which we blankly deny. It is 
an incontrovertible fact that the statement of a paid 
detective is always discounted. No matter what his 
history and antecedents may have been, his salaried 
evidence is taken with an allowance. It is argued 
that such a tour of inspection was itself degrading, 
and it ought, for that reason, to have been made by 
my agents. It was against objections and criticisms 
of this kind that I published, through the columns of 
the newspapers, an address to the citizens of New 
York City, under date of April 13th, 1892, and it will 
be proper to insert extracts from that address at this 

" I regret the egotism that seems involved in pre- 
suming to address so broad a readership. I trust, 
however, that I shall be acquitted of any presumptu- 
ous intention, more especially, as up to this time I have 
not penned a single word, either in acknowledgment 
of the support that has been accorded me, or in 
reply to the criticisms that have been passed upon 

" Even now my object is not so much to defend the 
methods which I have seen it wise to adopt, as to put 
in distinct shape the one object toward which I am 
working, whether as preacher or as President of the 
Society for the Prevention of Crime. 

" In the sermon which was preached from my pulpit 


on the 14th of February last, the one point urged was 
that one of the greatest difficulties which the church 
has to encounter in the prosecution of its work is the 
license which is municipally allowed to vice. This 
was immediately met on the part of municipal authori- 
ties with a tempest of raillery which culminated in the 
presentment of the February Grand Jury. I was told 
that my charges were general, that I had no idea 
what I was talking about, and that the whole tendency 
of such vituperation was to bring the government into 
disgrace. . . . 

" The evidence which, with the aid of detectives and 
friends, I was easily able to collect, was secured with 
the distinct end of showing, by unimpeachable testi- 
mony, something of the extent, infamy, and publicity 
of certain crimes, with the necessary inference that if a 
police force as competent as ours is conceded to be, 
and in the possession of all those legal powers known 
to be accorded to it, fails to hold such crimes in stern 
check, it can only be because of having entered into 
some evil alliance with them. It was not at all a mat- 
ter between me and any individual parties. When I 
went before the Grand Jury with two hundred and 
eighty-four affidavits I said, ' Gentlemen, I have no 
interest in the conviction of these parties. Evidence 
has not been secured against them for the sake of in- 
ducing you to indict them. My object has been solely 
to secure in the general mind an indictment against 
the Police Department.' . . . 


"As to criticisms that have been passed, even by my 
friends, I want to say that I give them full credit for 
sincerity in all their strictures. At the same time it is 
always to be remembered that it is a thousand times 
easier to criticise another's action than it is to take 
action one's self, and if while I was planning how I 
could do something to help the cause some one else 
had devised a better method than the one I was work- 
ing out, I am sure I should have been only too happy 
to strike into it, and work at his side and under his 

" It is claimed that work of so dirty a character I 
ought to have hired some one to do for me. I loathe 
the suggestion and I loathe the craven spirit that 
prompts it. If it was vicious in me to visit those 
places myself it would have been equally vicious, with 
an added element of damnable cowardice, to get some 
one to do it for me. No such system of ethics as 
that has either the moral vigor or the intellectual 
acumen to bore into the heart of existing corrup- 

The first point to prove, then, was that criminal prac- 
tices were being conducted throughout the town in a 
manner of outrageous openness that afforded p7-ima 
facie evidence that there was collusion between police 
and criminals. Individual criminals, as such, we had 
no interest in. We were neither trying to convict 
them, nor were we any more trying to convert them. 
Naturally, the criminals became our enemies, and con- 

OUR FiGirr WITH tammanv 53 

tinued so until our real intent was understood. Just 
as naturally the Police Justices, the Police Commis- 
sioners, and the Superintendent of Police, together 
with their journalistic representatives, lost no oppor- 
tunity to taunt us with having substituted the court- 
'room for the Bible and hymn-book in our contention 
with the fallen and the unfortunate. Divver, Byrnes, 
Martin and Sheehan knew exactly as well then as they 
do to-day that our attack was upon them, and not upon 
the petty criminals within their respective dioceses; 
and their voluminous discharge of hypocritical drivel 
had no other object than to confuse the issue and dis- 
credit the Society and myself, its representative. Our 
work, then, was not upon the bawdy-house, but upon 
the Tammany Police Department, through the bawdy- 
house ; and in spite of the Commissioners, the Super- 
intendent, and the Captains, we have won. 

The necessity for such a tour of observation was, to 
my mind, so transparently necessary that it did not 
seem advisable to seek any considerable amount of 
counsel upon the matter. I conferred repeatedly 
with Mr. David J. Whitney, who was one of the most 
aggressive members of the Society, and who, through 
long warfare with the evil geniuses of our city, had 
made himself an expert in all that concerned the So- 
ciety's work. He was a man who was very quick in 
his judgments, but exceedingly liable to be right. He 
agreed with me that there would be tremendous ad- 
vantage in being able to speak of the city from out of 


my own personal acquaintance with it, but omitted no 
pains to convince me of the poisoned arrows of malig- 
nity to which I should be exposed if I made the vent- 
ure. Having decided that destiny was a thing from 
which there is no escape, it remained to find a safe and 
congenial spirit whom I could take as my companion. 
More hinged upon this matter than I could then dis- 
tinctly foresee ; it was necessary that such companion 
should be a man of unimpeachable personal charac- 
ter, and of an established position in community. Of 
course it was necessary, also, that he should undertake 
the work not out of any hasty or uncertain impulse, 
but purely out of devotion to the cause which the 
work represented. 

While this matter was still being considered, I was 
called upon one evening, early in March '92, by a young 
man who had recently become a member of my con- 
gregation, and whom I had noticed in the church, but 
whom I had never personally met. Whether he had 
divined what was in my own mind, I do not know to 
this day, but he said that he had come to tell me that 
if there was anything he could do to assist me in the 
enterprise recently undertaken, he was unreservedly 
at my service. My good friend John Langdon Erving 
little realized all that was involved in his noble offer, 
or all that it was going to cause him in the way of 
criticism and obloquy before his heroic service was 
completed ; but suffice it to say that his offer of as- 
sistance was accepted and a general plan of operations 


outlined that same evening. I cannot let this oppor- 
tunity pass of rendering to my friend Erving the 
tribute of my gratitude. If in connection with this 
whole warfare there have been words of invective and 
insinuations too dastardly and devilish to be forgiven, 
either in this world or the world to come, they were 
words that were spoken upon Erving. His was the 
manly stuff, however, that took no detriment from 
calumny, and I can speak no larger word of him than 
to say that without him, or a man as strong and noble- 
spirited as he, the efforts initiated in the spring of 
'92 must have issued in failure. 

Of course, I have no purpose of publishing here the 
details of those three weeks which, in the company of 
Erving and under the guidance of detective Charles 
W. Gardner, I spent in traversing the avenues of our 
municipal hell. The details have been given to the 
public through the press, and by no journal more pro- 
lifically or with more of zest than by the one that has 
affected the deepest anguish at the vast number of 
pure minds that have been sullied by the repulsive dis- 

Nevertheless, in full view of all that has passed, 
and in spite of all in the way of vicious criticism and 
honest misunderstanding that has ensued, I still am 
obliged to say that the course I took was the only 
course that could have been taken ; and that under 
the like circumstances I would repeat precisely the 
same policy. No rhetoric that I might have availed 


of, and no theories of the situation that I might have 
promulgated, would ever have begun to take the place 
of my being able to say " I know." I may be per- 
mitted to say that when I stood in my pulpit shortly 
after, and on the strength of my own personal knowl- 
edge repeated in more of detail the charges for which 
I had just been " presented," I felt, clear to the centre 
of my being, that I was in a position from which no 
District-Attorney, no Grand Jury, and no Justice Mar- 
tine, or any of his ilk, could ever shake me. 

There is one feature of our tour of inspection that 
has not, perhaps been sufficiently indicated. We 
entered no houses that were not easy of access ; we 
were not trying to prove the existence of evil resorts, 
but were seeking to connect the police with those 
resorts by showing the fearless and flagrant way 
in which they were being run. We went into no 
places that were not recognized as notorious ; into 
no places that were not perfectly known by the 
patrolman on the beat, provided only he knew any- 
thing that was on his beat. Indeed our great anxi- 
ety, particularly after it began to be rumored that 
I was engaged in this investigation, was lest, in pro- 
tection of their criminal interests, the police should 
arrange to raid some such resort while our visit upon 
it was in progress. In fact, almost the last and one 
of the vilest dens I entered was visited by the police- 
man while we were still in the house, and when we de- 
scended the steps he was standing guard over it. A 


while subsequent to this, ami in another part of the 
town, a gentleman who was in our interest, in order to 
satisfy himself of the personal understanding existing 
between the police and criminal resorts, accepted the 
offer of a patrolman to stand as sentinel at the front 
door so long as he should remain in, and until he re- 
appeared. The policeman did so. Because of the 
connection of the madame of that house with the 
Gardner case, our friend suggested to the patrolman 
that the notoriety of the place would make it a danger- 
ous one to enter. The blue-coat said, "Not at all." 
It was then that our friend asked him if he would be 
so good as to keep guard over the house during his 
visit there, so as to notify him in case there should be 
signs of a raid. "Certainly," said our observant guar- 
dian of the public peace. 

And we made it our purpose not only to visit places 
that were run with a vicious flagrancy that proved 
police connivance, not to say protection, but to ac- 
quaint ourselves with the very worst thing that was 
to be known and seen. If the thing was to be done 
it was going to be done thoroughly ; or, to use the 
illustration employed by Judge Noah Davis a few 
weeks later, if I had got to enter hell, I was going to 
find its most hellish spot. My constant instruction to 
(lardner was, "Take me to the most notorious resort 
you know of." There had been dens of even more 
nefarious character than any we visited, worse than 
anything hinted at in the first chapter of Romans or 


mentioned in connection with Gomorrah ; but they 
were not open in March of 1892 — if they had been we 
should have visited them. Having settled in my own 
mind my policy of action, the depth and foulness of 
the path over which the pursuance of that policy 
would lead me ceased to be an element in the question. 



Intimation had been given that the gauntlet thrown 
down by the February Grand Jury would be taken up 
by us in my pulpit on the morning of March 13th. The 
ordinary furniture of the pulpit, in the shape of Bible 
and Hymn-books, was on that occasion supplemented 
by a copious package of affidavits. The discourse was 
preached from the text, " The wicked walk on every 
side, when the vilest men are exalted" (Psalm xii. 8), 
and with few modifications was as follows : 

It will be well for us — you and me — to come to a 
full and frank understanding with each other, at the 
very threshold of our discussion this morning, as to 
the true scope of the campaign in which we are en- 
gaged, and in which, unless all signs are misleading, 
the hearts of increasing numbers are day by day be- 
coming enlisted. What was spoken from this pulpit 
four weeks ago was spoken with a distinct intent, 
from which we have not in the meantime swerved, 
and from which we do not in coming time propose to 
swerve, whatever in the way of obstruction, vitupera- 
tion, or intimidation may be officially or unofficially 


launched against us : for the one exclusive aim of the 
movement is to probe, to characterize, and to lay bare 
the iniquity that municipally antagonizes and neu- 
tralizes the efforts which a Christian pulpit puts forth 
to make righteousness the law of human life, individ- 
ually, socially, and civilly. So that I apprehend my 
function as a preacher of righteousness as giving me 
no option in the matter. It is not left for me to say 
whether I shall do it or shall not do it, but to go 
straightway about my business without fear or favor. 

It is important to recognize just here the purely 
moral intention of the crusade as security against its 
becoming complicated with considerations that stand 
aloof from the main point. A great many civic efforts 
have been made here and elsewhere that have resulted 
in nothing, for the single and sufficient reason that 
they have been side-tracked, switched off on to some 
collateral issue, mortgaged to some competitive in- 
terest. Suggestions, insinuations, criticisms that have 
reached me from various sources, some through the 
press, some through personal correspondence, make it 
incumbent upon me to declare that what has been 
said, and what will continue to be said, proceeds in no 
slightest degree from sympathy with or interest in any 
specific policy, whether political, reformatory, or re- 
ligious, looking to the reconstruction of our municipal 

I do not speak as a Republican or a Democrat, as a 
Protestant or a Catholic, as an advocate of prohibi- 


tion, or as an advocate of license. I am moved, so help 
me Almighty God, by the respect which I have for the 
Ten Commandments, and by my anxiety as a preacher 
of Jesus Christ, to have the law of God regnant in in- 
dividual and social life ; so that I antagonize our ex- 
isting municipal administration, because I believe, 
with all the individual exceptions frankly conceded 
four weeks ago, that administration to be essentially 
corrupt, interiorly rotten, and in all its combined 
tendency and effect to stand in diametric resistance 
to all that Christ and a loyally Christian pulpit repre- 
sent in the world. 

Now there is another diversion, side-tracking de- 
vice, that has been operated and that has been oper- 
ated industrially, and which, as it seems to me, has 
had for its object to confuse the general mind, and so 
to break the force of the indictment made here four 
weeks ago. I refer, of course, to the presentment 
made by the February Grand Jury. In that present- 
ment the substance of the censure passed upon the of- 
fending clergyman was that he uttered charges against 
an official founded upon newspaper reports. Why, I said 
at the time that it was founded upon newspaper re- 
port. So far as related to the McGlory matter, it 
was a hypothetical accusation and was exhibited as a 
hypothetical accusation. If the papers which pub- 
lished the story at the time, and which, so far as I 
could learn, had remained for six weeks uncontra- 
dicted, misrepresented the case, why then my accusa- 


tion, so far as related to the McGlory matter, tumbled 
with it, and that is all of it involved in the very terms 
in which I then recognized the newspapers as my 
authority. If I had failed to indicate my authority, 
or if I had failed to indicate that so far as it related 
to the McGlory business, my charges stood or fell 
with that authority, the case would have been dif- 
ferent ; but, as it is, there seems to be in the action 
of the Grand Jury a lack of that frankness which I 
certainly had a right to expect, and which my own en- 
tire frankness in the Grand Jury room has certainly 
entitled me to receive. 

The natural, not to say the intended, effect of the 
form under which the presentment was made, was to 
produce upon the minds of such as were not knowing 
to the very phraseology which I used, the impression 
that I had been stating, as of my own personal knowl- 
edge, matters which, upon a little sifting, disclosed 
themselves to have reached me only through the 
avenue of the press. I cannot feel that to be just. 
Nor can I otherwise interpret it than as calculated to 
represent as ministerial effusiveness and carelessness, 
that which had not an element of extravagance in it, 
and in that way covertly to impeach and bring into 
discredit my arraignment in its other details. Leav- 
ing that point, I would like merely to interpolate the 
inquiry. Why was it that an accusation that for six 
weeks had been lying unregarded and untouched in 
the public prints was at once made a subject of judi- 


cial investigation and carried to the point of present- 
ment when reproduced in the pulpit ? 

But all that one side, and I am sorry to have asked 
you to devote a single moment's thought to a matter 
that has, to such a degree, the appearance of being 
personal to myself. All that aside, you will remem- 
ber that the substance of the charge that four weeks 
ago was brought against a certain official, was that 
he betrayed a languid interest in the conviction of 
violators of law and allowed other considerations to 
intervene between himself and his official obligations. 
Now, that last is exactly what he has done in my own 
person since then. I went to him with business that 
pertained to his own department, and he p^emptorily 
refused to hold official communication with me. His 
feelings toward me personally prevented his fulfilling 
the obligations due from him officially. Now, there is 
no newspaper rumor about that. I speak that I do 
know, and testify that which I have seen, and two wit- 
nesses are ready to bear their testimony to the fact. 
I am a citizen and a taxpayer, and I am refused audi- 
ence with an officer whose salary I, as a taxpayer, am 
helping to pay, and whose services as an attorney I am 
entitled to avail of. 

So far as that concerns me personally, of course I 
care nothing about it. It would be as childish as it 
would be wicked to bring into the pulpit personal dif- 
ferences as such. But the point is that, in the trans- 
action just referred to, I, as a citizen, could get 


nothing from an officer of the Government, because, 
forsooth, I was not " solid " with him. 

Now that is the genius of the entire Tammany busi- 
ness. You cannot get anything from Tammany unless 
you are " solid " with Tammany. A man, though he 
may be working night and day for the ennoblement 
and purification of the city he loves, has no rights 
which Tammany is bound to respect. We are obliged 
and glad to make all possible exceptions, and there 
are many such ; but the fact is that Tammany, taken 
as a whole, is not so much a political party as it is a 
commercial corporation, organized in the interest of 
making the most possible out of its official opportu- 
nities, so tl^at what the rest of us get from Tammany 
we have to get by fighting for it or paying for it. All 
of which is stated with enviable conciseness and frank- 
ness in the last number of the North A Dierican Review, 
in which the writer says : 

" Tammany is no party and refuses allegiance to 
any. It has no principles or platforms to pledge it to 
duty. It fights only for itself. Its governmental 
theory is simple. It counts absolutely on the igno- 
rance, the venal and depraved voters, holding them 
with the adhesive and relentless grasp of an octopus. 
It never alienates the grogshop keepers, the gamblers, 
the beer dealers, the nuisance makers, or the pro- 
letariat. Patriotism and a sense of duty count for 
nothing in its estimate of political forces. Party pas- 
sion, selfishness, and hopes of victory and spoils are 
its supreme reliance." 


And not only does the organization just referred to 
stand as the organization of crime, but it embodies the 
tyranny of crime. There are citizens in this town 
abominating the whole system that do not dare to 
stand up and be counted. One of the most striking 
features of the immense number of letters of thanks 
and encouragement that I have been receiving during 
the last four weeks is the large percentage written by 
people who did not dare to append their own signa- 
tures — distinctly in sympathy with everything that is 
true and pure and honest, and yet afraid over their 
own names to put into black and white their sincere 
views of a government whose duty it is to foster virtue, 
not drive it into hiding. 

I do not refer to this for the purpose of charging 
the writers with cowardice. I only adduce the fact as 
demonstration of the inherent tyranny of the civilized 
brigands who are despotizing over us. Only in that 
connection I want to say that now is a good time to 
speak out ; an excellent opportunity for moral hero- 
ism to come to the front and assert itself. Nothing 
frightens so easily as vice. " The wicked flee when 
no man pursueth," and they make still better time 
when somebody is pursuing. Time and time again 
during the past weeks, as I have, between the hours 
of 12 and 3 in the morning, sat in the company of 
women of a class almost too disreputable to be even 
named in this presence, I have heard the same thing 
said, that there is not much doing just now for the 


reason that everybody is scared. Some things have 
come, and they have a shrewd presentiment that 
more of the same sort is on the way. The scattering 
feathers and the plaintive peepings indicate that the 
shots are striking into the quick. 

I cannot too strongly emphasize the fact, even at 
the risk of being repetitious, that my interest in this 
thing is due solely to the obstruction that such a con- 
dition of affairs puts upon my work as a preacher of 
righteousness. You cannot have men even of tainted 
reputation, saying nothing of character, high in mu- 
nicipal authority without that fact working the dis- 
couragement of virtue and the reduction of moral 
standards. It is a pretty trying state of affairs for 
such as are attempting to improve the moral condition 
of our young men, in particular, to have officials high 
in power against whom the most damning and excori- 
ating thing that can be done is to publish their history. 
A while ago the treasurer of a certain bank downtown, 
who was not even suspected of being dishonest, but 
whose name, through no fault of his own, had become 
associated with a disreputable firm, was thrown out of 
his position. The reason stated by the directors was, 
that while they cordially and unanimously recognized 
the integrity of the treasurer, they could not afford to 
jeopardize the interest of the bank by having asso- 
ciated with them a man that was tainted even to the 
slight degree of being mentioned in connection with 
dishonest dealing. 


Now, that is the way you run a bank. That is the 
style of condition that you impose upon candidates for 
positions of financial trust. I am not here to criticise 
these conditions. But when you come to run a city, 
with a million and a half of people, with interests that 
are a great deal more than pecuniary, and a city, too, 
that is putting the stamp of its character or of its in- 
famy upon every city the country through, then you 
have not always shrunk from putting into positions of 
trust men that are ex-dive-keepers and crooks and ex- 
convicts, and men whose detailed written history would 
draw tremblingly near to the verge of obscene liter- 

The charge has been brought that the kind of dis- 
course that was given here four weeks ago was entirely 
general, and was not characterized by that definite- 
ness, or by that sharpness of detail that would com- 
mend it to the interest or the confidence of a judicial 
mind. Now, details, I confess, were the last things 
that I supposed that the virtuous people of this city 
would need, or that the administration of this city 
would want. It was with some surprise, therefore, 
that I understood that it was officially stated in the 
Stevenson " Slide " case that while ministers like my- 
self were willing enough to sit in their own houses 
and vituperate the city government, it was impossible 
to get them to procure evidence that would help to 
convict suspects of violation of laws. As I say, this 
was something of a surprise, for while I knew that the 


city government had allowed the ladies to teach them 
how to sweep the streets, I did not imagine it would 
be considered a part of my ministerial duty to go into 
the slums and help catch the rascals, especially as the 
police are paid nearly five million dollars a year for 
doing it themselves. But it is never to late to broaden 
your diocese. I, therefore, selected seven names of 
parties that I imagined might occasionally forget them- 
selves and be guilty of the violation of the Excise law, 
put evidence-takers on their track, and having secured 
evidence such as my counsel deemed sufficient, met 
the District-Attorney in the interview above described. 
Opportunity of official intercourse being denied me 
(I omitted just now to mention the fact that the seven 
names selected were of parties that are way up in 
the confidences of Tammany councils), opportunity of 
official intercourse being denied me, my lawyer put 
the names of the parties before the District- Attorney, 
which he politely returned, and said that we could 
take them before the Grand Jury and that he would 
secure us the opportunity. I was admitted to the 
Grand Jury, but upon stating my errand was cour- 
teously informed that attending to such matters was 
not exactly in their line, and was invited to move on, 
and first try my luck with the police court. Applica- 
tion was therefore made to the police court, and war- 
rants were obtained. That was the first gleam of 
hope that broke upon us, and down to date it is the 
last gleam. The case was put over to last week. 


Monday. On Monday we all gathered again at the 
Tombs, counsel and witnesses, only to have the Judge 
tell us that we could come again this week, Tuesday. 
I said four weeks ago that our municipal administra 
tion showed a languid interest in the conviction of 
criminals. I was taunted with dealing in generalities. 
Now there is a specification, seven of them. Go put 
them along with the Grand Jury's presentment. 

Well, the work of gathering evidence, thus begun, 
grew upon me in interest and fascination. Last Sun- 
day, therefore, while we were quietly studying and 
praying over the matter of Foreign Missions, I had a 
force of five detectives out studying up city missions, 
and trying to discover whether the Police Department 
shows any practical respect to its obligation to enforce 
the excise laws on the Sabbath. 

Before going on with that I want to mention a 
singular little episode that also occurred last Sabbath 
on the east side. The story met my eye in the morn- 
ing papers and I asked a legal friend to go to the 
clerk of the court and verify it, which he did in its 
essential features. A policeman on Division Street, 
urged thereto, so the story runs, by the necessity that 
he felt himself under just at this time of showing the 
community what a lively interest the police take in 
preserving the holy quiet of the Lord's Day, went into 
an open grocer's shop and arrested the shopkeeper 
for selling a three-cent cake of soap. Now I do not 
want to be understood as condoning that offence. 


Cleanliness is next to godliness, but cleanliness isn't 
godliness, and I am not here to criticise Judge Kil- 
breth, in whose integrity I have thorough reason to 
put confidence, for putting the offender under bail to 
appear before the General Sessions. But while this 
three-cent soap transaction was transpiring there were 
a good many other things transipring, and I return to 
the experience of my five detectives. 

I have here the results of their day's work, neatly 
typewritten, sworn to, corroborated, and subject to 
the call of the District- Attorney. There is here the 
list of parties that last Sunday violated the ordinance 
of Sunday closing. One of these covers the east side 
and the other the west side of town. These names are 
interesting, some of them especially so, from one 
cause or another — in some instances on account of 
their official position, either present or recent; in other 
cases because of their family connection or intimacies 
with the powers that be. These lists include viola- 
tions in twenty-two precincts. The statement sworn 
to is the following, omitting the names and addresses 
of the witnesses, which are in the documents, of course, 
given in full: "John Smith, of such a street and num- 
ber, in said city, being duly sworn, deposes and says, 
that at the city of New York, on Sunday, March 6, 
1892, between the hours of 8 a. m. and 12 p. m., de- 
ponent, in company with one John Jones, visited the 
following liquor saloons where wine or malt or spiritu- 
ous liquors were exposed for sale ; that there were 


people drinking at the bars of all these places, to 

Then follows the list of places, with addresses, and 
the number of people present in each. Then comes 
John Jones's sworn corroborations of John Smith's 
affidavit. In other words " legal evidence," which is 
what I understand our municipal administration desires 
to have this pulpit furnish it. Of course, I am not 
going to take up your time by reading the names. 
Only a little in the way of recapitulation, for illustra- 
tion's sake. Second Precinct, 7 saloons open, 55 people 
present; Fourth Precinct, 10 saloons open, 45 people 
present; Fourteenth Precinct, 15 saloons open, 169 
people present; Nineteenth Precinct (that is ours), 18 
saloons open, 205 people present. In all (I do not 
mean all the saloons that were open, but all the open 
ones that our detectives happened to strike), in all, 254 
saloons, 2,438 people present. They don't want "gen- 
eralities," they want particularities. Well, there are 
254 of them, not pulpit grandiloquence, nor minis- 
terial exuberance, but hard, cold affidavits. If the 
concerned guardians of the public peace and the 
anxious conservators of municipal laws want facts we 
will guarantee to grind them out a fresh grist every 
blessed week. Now, let them take vigorous hold of 
the material furnished above, or quit their hypocritical 
clamoring after specific charges. 

It has seemed to me that there would be a peculiar 
propriety in studying a little way into the general 


trend of things in the Nineteenth Precinct, as that is 
the one in which our own church is situated, and from 
which we draw the major part of our congregation. 
To this end I have had during the last few days a 
number of interested people, some of them paid de- 
tectives, some of them volunteers from this congrega- 
tion, scouring the ground with a view to learning 
something about the gambling-houses and the houses 
of a disorderly character. A gambler who is a dealer 
in one of the faro banks here told one of our party 
that the small games were running pretty quiet now 
because Dr. Parkhurst's society (the Society for the 
Prevention of Crime) had so frightened the police 
that they had made the gamblers close up for a time, 
till this thing should blow over. I only mention that 
that you may get at the true inwardness of the situa- 
tion. The police can stop gambling just the instant 
that they conclude that it is unsafe not to. They will 
go just as far as the exigencies of the case push them, 
and to all appearances not a step farther. 

Among places of this character reported to me are 
two that are possessed of a melancholy interest, be- 
cause of the youthful character of the patrons — a 
gambling house a little above 40th street, furnished 
with roulette, hazard, and red and black tables, in 
which there were counted forty-eight young men, and 
a policy shop, three blocks above our church, running 
full blast, and which forty young men were seen to 
enter last Tuesday. 


Leaving the gambling-house for the present, I must 
report to you what was discovered in a region of 
iniquity that in this presence will have to be dealt with 
with as much caution and delicacy as the nature of 
the subject will allow. I have here a list of thirty 
houses, names and addresses, all specified, that are 
simply houses of prostitution, all of them in this pre- 
cinct. These thirty places were all of thern visited by 
my friend, or my detective, on the loth and also on 
the nth of March, and solicitations received on both 
dates. I spent an hour in one of these places myself, 
and I know perfectly well what it all means, and with 
what entire facility such houses can be gotten into. 
That house is three blocks only from the spot where I 
am standing now. All of this has been neatly type- 
written, sworn to, corroborated, and is subject to the 
call of the District-Attorney. 

And now, fathers and mothers, I am trying to help 
your sons. From the very commencement of my min- 
istry here I confess that to be of some encouragement 
and assistance to young men has been my great ambi- 
tion. Appeal after appeal has come to me these last 
four weeks, signed " A Father " or " A Mother," beg- 
ging me to try to do something for their dear boys. But, 
as things are, I do declare there is not very much that 
I can do for them. I never knew till within three 
weeks how almost impossible it is for a young man to 
be in the midst of the swim of New York City life, 
under present conditions, and still be temperate and 


clean. I had supposed that the coarse, bestial vices 
were fenced off from youthful contact with some show 
at least of police restriction. So far as I have been 
able to read the symptoms of the case, I don't dis- 
cover the restrictions. There is little advantage in 
preaching the Gospel to a young fellow on Sunday if 
he is going to be sitting on the edge of a Tammany- 
maintained hell the rest of the week. 

Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking 
about. Many a long, dismal, heart-sickening night, in 
company with two trusty friends, have I spent since I 
spoke on this matter before, going down into the dis- 
gusting depths of this Tammany-debauched town ; 
and it is rotten with a rottenness that is unspeakable 
and indescribable, and a rottenness that would be ab- 
solutely impossible except by the connivance, not to 
say the purchased sympathy, of the men whose one 
obligation before God, men, and their own conscience 
is to shield virtue and make vice difficult. Now that 
I stand by, because before Almighty God, I know it, 
and I will stand by it though buried beneath present- 
ments as thick as autumn leaves in Vallombrosa, or 
snowfiakes in a March blizzard. 

Excuse the personal reference to myself in all this, 
but I cannot help it. I never dreamed that any force 
of circumstances would ever draw me into contacts so 
coarse, so beastly, so consummately filthy as those I 
have repeatedly found myself in the midst of these 
last days. I feel as though I wanted to go out of 


town for a month to bleach the memory of it out of 
my mind, and the vision of it out of my eyes. 

I am not ignorant of the colossal spasms of indig- 
nation into which the trustees of Tammany ethics 
have been thrown by the blunt and inelegant charac- 
terization of a month ago, and I have a clear, as well 
as a serene, anticipation of what I have to expect 
from the same sources for having deliberately sought 
out and entered into the very presence of iniquity in 
its vilest shape, for there is nothing in the first chapter 
of Romans, read this morning, that will outdo in 
filthiness the scenes which my eyes have just wit- 
nessed, and not till I look on the great White Throne 
can the foul traces of it be effaced ; but horrible 
though the memory of it must always be to me, it has 
earned me a grip on the situation that I would not 
surrender for untold money. But the grim and deso- 
late part of it all is that these things are all open and 
perfectly easily accessible. The young men, your 
boys, probably know that they are. Ten minutes of 
sly indoctrination, such as a tainted comrade might 
give them, would afford them all the information 
they would need to enable them with entire con- 
fidence to pick out either a cheap or an expensive 
temple of vile fascination, where the unholy worship 
of Venus is rendered. The door will open to him, 
and the blue-coated guardian of civic virtue will not 
molest him. I spent an hour in such a place yester- 
day morning, and when we came down the steps I al- 


most tumbled over a policeman who appeared to be 
doing picket duty on the curbstone. 

To say that the police do not know what is going 
on and where it is going on, with all the brilliant 
symptoms of the character of the place distinctly in 
view, is rot. I do not ask anyone to excuse or to 
apologize for my language. You have got to fit your 
words to your theme. We do not handle charcoal 
with a silver ladle nor carry city garbage out to the 
dumping ground in a steam-yacht. Anyone who, with 
all the easily ascertainable facts in view, denies that 
drunkenness, gambling, and licentiousness in this 
town are municipally protected, is either a knave or 
an idiot. It is one of the rules and regulations of the 
Police Department : " It is the duty of the Superin- 
tendent to enforce in the city of New York all the 
laws of the State and ordinances of the city of New 
York and ordinances of the Board of Health, and the 
rules and regulations of the Board of Police ; to abate 
all gaming houses, rooms, and premises and places 
kept or used for lewd or obscene purposes, and places 
kept or used for the sale of lottery tickets or policies." 

Another rule is : " Captains will be diligent in en- 
forcing the laws relating to lotteries, lottery policies 
and shops ; the selling of liquor and gambling of all 
kinds." Still another rule governing patrolmen is the 
following : " Patrolmen must carefully watch all dis- 
orderly houses or houses of bad fame within their 
post ; observe by whom they are frequented and re- 


port their observations to tlie commanding officer." 
Still another : "Patrolmen shall report to their com- 
manding officers all persons known or suspected of 
being policy dealers, gamblers, receivers of stolen 
property, thieves, burglars, or offenders of any kind." 
Again : " Each patrolman must by his vigilance render 
it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for any one to 
commit crime on his post." The obligations of our 
Police Department to enforce law are distinct, and 
their failure to do it is just as distinct. 

I am not making the definite charge that this pro- 
ceeds from complicity with violators of the laws, but I 
do make the distinct charge that it proceeds either 
from complicity or incompetency. They can take 
their choice. I do not believe, though, that any con- 
siderable number of people in New York consider 
them incompetent. This is disproved by the consum- 
mate ability with which certain portions of their 
official obligations are discharged, and by the com- 
plete success with which, when on one or two oc- 
casions they made up their minds, for instance, that 
the liquor saloons should be closed, they were closed 
up tight and dry, from Harlem to the Battery. Their 
ability I am willing to applaud indefinitely, knowing 
all the time, though, that the more I applaud them for 
their ability the more I damn them for their delin- 

With the backing, then, of such facts legally cer- 
tified to as have been presented this morning, we in- 


sist, in behalf of an insulted and outraged public, that 
the Police Department, from its top down, shall, with- 
out further shift or evasion, proceed with an iron hand 
to close up gambling-houses, houses of prostitution, 
and whiskey-shops open in illegal hours. If this is 
what they cannot do, let them concede the point, and 
give place to someone who can. If this is what they 
will not do, let them stand squarely on the issue and 
be impeached according to the provisions of the Code. 
In a closing word, voicing the righteous indigna- 
tion of the pure and honest citizenship of this tyran- 
nized municipality, let me in a representative way say 
to Tammany: " For four weeks you have been wincing 
under the sting of a general indictment, and have been 
calling for particulars. This morning I have given 
you particulars, two hundred and eighty-four of them. 
Now, what are you going to do with them ?" 

We do not want to claim for the pulpit any position 
of advantage which does not belong to it, nor to speak 
in any manner arrogantly of its peculiar facilities of 
influence ; but we are probably correct in saying that 
the sermon above reproduced disturbed the enemy be- 
cause it came, not from the newspaper, but from the 
pulpit. This is illustrated by the fact that the same 
criticism which I made against the District-Attorney 
had been previously made quite as well and fully as 
sharply by the press and had not been resented. 



Tammany Hall blackguarded me for preaching my 
sermon of February 14th because I indulged in gen- 
eralities and spoke from hearsay ; but that was not 
a circumstance to the way in which they black- 
guarded me for my sermon of March 13th, because I 
gave them particulars and spoke from personal knowl- 
edge. There is great difficulty in proceeding against 
criminals in a way that will exactly conform to their 
convenience or fall in with their aesthetic predilec- 
tions. I cannot seem to hit upon any method of deal- 
ing with them that secures their cordial endorsement. 
The District-Attorney, who had made himself some- 
what conspicuous by his disapprobation of my Febru- 
ary policy, was equally hesitant about applauding my 
reverse policy of the month following. Being of a 
legal mind, it seemed as though he would be gratified 
by the particularity of my legally sustained charges ; 
but at any rate he never gave me any indications of 
his gratification. Police Commissioner Martin was re- 
ported in a published interview as lamenting the effect 


that must have been produced upon the pure-hearted 
attendants at my church on the morning of March 
13th. It is a touching token of that Commissioner's 
intrinsic deUcacy of spirit that, having been so long a 
constituent element of a Police Department like ours, 
he should still have retained his innate sensitiveness 
and have experienced pain at the thought of the hypo- 
thetical " blush " of the members of my congregation. 

These references have been made only as samples 
of the taciturn contempt with which Tammany received 
my bill of particulars, showing that the passion ex- 
hibited by them the month previous was due not to 
the fact that my charges were general and unsustained, 
but to the fact that anybody had dared to make any 
charges against them of any kind, sustained or unsus- 
tained, general or specific. In other words, all the 
threats, official and unofficial, that were flung at me on 
the occasion of my first sermon were simply parts of 
one stupendous game of bluff played in order to deter 
me and everyone else from doing anything more of 
the same sort. 

Fortunately for the cause, however, the Grand Jury 
then sitting was of quite a distinct species from the 
Hermann and O'Halloran Jury of the month previous, 
and declined to be the tool of any District-Attorney or 
of any political interest. Our community, which is 
now rejoicing in the overthrow of Tammany Hall, has 
very little idea of the degree to which it is indebted 
for that overthrow, to the careful, faithful and heroic 


work done by the March Grand Jury of 1892. Its 
foreman was Henry M. Tabor ; the other members 
were as follows : 

David L. Einstein, R. L. Sherman, 

James WiUiams, Robert Rutter, 

Nathan Farnbacher, G. Foster, 

George Harral, E. G. Bogert, 

Wm. Lauterbach, C. E. Merrill, 

T. J. Davis, Wm. Moir, 

R. McCarrerty, Geo. Holbrook, 

J. B. Bloomingdale, F. Mead, Jr., 

A. G. Hyde, Wm. H. Marston, 

G. E. Taintor, J. L. Hyde, 

Andrew J. Fay, J. W. Tappin. 

Foreman Tabor handled matters in a way to suit 
himself. That is to say, his experience as a juror had 
made him familiar with the fact that a Grand Jury 
does not fulfil its functions by playing tail to the Dis- 
trict-Attorney's kite. It is an independent and irre- 
sponsible body, a Grand Jury is, and, properly speaking, 
no more the subject of the District-Attorney than it is 
of the court-house janitor — a fact, however, of which 
the District-Attorney appears often to take good care 
to have the minds of the jurors unsuspicious. It was 
some months before I learned that there was any way 
of getting before the Jury save by a preliminary 
wrestling match in the District-Attorney's office. 

Mr. Tabor, then, let it be repeated, understood his 


rights and duties too well to allow of any pranks be- 
ing played upon him by the gentleman below stairs. 
His Jury, which was in session during the weeks fol- 
lowing the delivery of my discourse of March 13th, 
promptly passed the following resolution : 

^'■Resolved, That the District-Attorney be, and is 
hereby requested to produce all evidence before this 
Grand Jury regarding the cases referred to by Dr. 
Parkhurst and his associates and Society's agents, 
and request Dr. Parkhurst and his agents to appear 
before this Jury at the earliest practicable moment." 

This request was immediately transmitted and 
promptly responded to by myself and agents of the 
Society, and indictments found against several of the 
parties in whose houses we had been during our tour 
of nocturnal visitation. 

It will be well to state parenthetically that when 
the matter of finding such indictments was suggested 
by some members of the Jury, I stated that whether 
it was desirable for them to do so was a question for 
them to decide, but that that was a matter in which I 
personally, and as a representative of the Society for 
the Prevention of Crime had no interest ; that we 
were not engaged in a crusade against disorderly 
houses but against the police considered as their pre- 
sumed protectors ; but that the thing which would 
gratify us most, and meet what we considered the 
ends of justice, would be for them to push their 


inquiries to a point where they could see their way 
clear to formulate charges against the Police De- 
partment in its entirety. This was not said with 
any intention of dictating to the Jury its line of duty. 
We, however, wanted it understood that the object we, 
as a Society, had in view, was something far deeper 
than the suppression of any local outbreaks of crime, 
or of any individual violation of law. Whether this 
statement of our desire and purpose had any influence 
on the jurors is of no particular importance, but it is 
of importance to notice that the work which they did 
was thoroughly consistent with our own plan of cam- 
paign, and that the remainder of its time it occupied 
for the most part, not in indicting individual violators 
of gambling and excise laws, etc., but in prosecuting 
its inquiries into the matter of police negligence and 

A considerable number of the higher officials of the 
Police Department were summoned before Mr. Tabor's 
Jury. As has since been so amply demonstrated, 
Police Commissioners, Superintendent, Inspectors, 
and Captains are a coy and innocent lot. They are 
so careful not to perjure themselves that they acquire 
a morbid distrust of their own memories, and for fear 
that they should say more than they can quite con- 
scientiously take their oath upon, narrow their testi- 
mony down to a scope so narrow as to be practically 
valueless so far as relates to the securing of any ma- 
terial, or at least specific results. Another, although 


perhaps a less complimentary way of putting the same 
matter, would be to say, that the adroit officials de- 
clined to be snared in any of the nooses that Foreman 
Tabor threw to them, and returned to headquarters 
the same array of gold-banded innocence and brass- 
buttoned ingenuousness that they continued to be 
down to the later date of Mr. Goff's experiments upon 

But although the Jury was unable, in the short time 
at its command, and in view of the unresponsive char- 
acter of the witnesses upon which it was obliged to 
rely, to gather facts sufficient to warrant an indictment 
against any particular officer or officers, yet they dis- 
covered enough to justify their formulating charges 
against the Police Department as such, which were 
couched in the form of the following presentment : 

To the Honorable the Court of General Sessions and the 
Honorable the Recorder, Frederick Smyth : 

Owing to public and general charges having been 
made against the efficiency of the Police Department 
in suppressing vice and arresting law-breakers, this 
Grand Jury has spent considerable time in investigat- 
ing these accusations. 

It is conceded by all, that the Police Department is 
splendidly organized, and is not excelled in its ability 
to cope with crime. The comparative safety of travel 
and freedom from disorder on the streets are evidence 
of the ability of the force. 

It must, however, be as fully conceded that certain 


crimes, such as the maintaining of gambling-houses 
and disorderly houses, and the violation of excise law, 
are very prevalent, and that they are not seriously in- 
terfered with by the police. 

The usual excuse is the difficulty of entrance into 
such places (although easily accessible to the public), 
and of procuring legal evidence. An investigation of 
the facts shows that few raids upon gambling and dis- 
orderly houses are made by the police of their own 
volition, and rarely, if ever, by the captain personally ; 
and in nearly all cases action is taken by private citi- 
zens or agents of societies upon which warrants are 
issued and raids made. 

The police rules provide for regular reports by cap- 
tains of police to headquarters of all gambling and 
disorderly houses in their precincts. Such reports are 
regularly made, and there is in Police Headquarters a 
long list of houses of that character, giving their exact 
location and the kind of business conducted in each of 

Section 282 of the Consolidation Act requires the 
police to carefully observe and inspect all such prem- 
ises, and to repress and to restrain all unlawful con- 
duct in them, and gives them power to make arrests 
in such cases with or without warrants. 

Section 285 of the Consolidation Act gives each 
policeman the power to report to the Superintendent 
any such premises, and to state the reasonable grounds 
for believing that the law is violated upon them, where- 
upon the Superintendent may issue his own warrant 
without any necessity of applying to a police justice, 
upon which warrant his officers may break into the 
suspected premises and arrest any persons found vio- 


lating the law and capture any apparatus used in such 
unlawful business. 

A large amount of testimony has been presented 
showing the existence and violation of law in large 
numbers of these places. The Grand Jury has in- 
dicted the proprietors of some of these places, and 
they have been arrested under such indictments and 
have pleaded. In these very cases further testimony 
has been presented showing that there was no abate- 
ment in these premises of the same disorderly practices, 
and that there was no appearance of police interference. 

With the facts before us that these places do exist 
in large numbers, that they are well known to the 
police, that their locations and special lines of busi- 
ness are recorded by the Department, and that very 
particular and express duties are imposed by law 
upon the police to inspect and repress these places 
(Section 282), and that extraordinary powers of break- 
ing into houses without previous application for judi- 
cial warrants are allowed to the police in order that 
they may perform such duties (Section 285), and with 
the fact that has plainly appeared to us that the police 
seldom use these powers, or even apply to magistrates 
for warrants to carry out their legal duties, there are 
presented to us the best reasons for condemning the 
inaction of the Police Department in these matters. 
They are either incompetent to do what is frequently 
done by private individuals with imperfect facilities for 
such work, or else there exist reasons and motives for 
such inaction which are illegal and corrupt. The gen- 
eral efficiency of the Department is so great that it is 
our belief that the latter suggestion is the explanation 
of the peculiar inactivity. 


In reference to excise violations the proofs which 
have been produced, and our own observation clearly 
show that the existence of open saloons and the sale 
of liquor in them at unlawful hours is the general rule, 
and it is clear that there is very little attempt by the 
police to interfere with these practices. 

The present situation certainly warrants the con- 
demnation of the Police Department in the matters 
above mentioned. The force is paid liberally for the 
work of enforcing the law. They do enforce the law 
in many respects in a superior manner, but if they be 
permitted to discriminate in favor of certain forms of 
crime for reasons well known to themselves, there is 
no telling where the same course will lead them to, or 
leave the interests of our city. Circumstances and 
testimony offered have tended to show financial con- 
siderations in some cases for lax administration. 

Indeed, the publicity with which the law is violated 
and the immunity from arrest enjoyed by the law- 
breaker is inconsistent with any other theory. It is 
obvious that when a confession by a lawbreaker of 
payment for protection would subject him to penalties 
not only for his acknowledged crime but also for 
bribegiving, it is extremely difficult to collect trust- 
worthy evidence in direct proof of such charges. It 
has been thought best at the present time to go no 
further than to make this general presentment, so 
that the courts and the residents of our city may be 
properly informed and warned against the dangerous 
evil that is in the midst of us. 

The foregoing was unanimously adopted. 

Henry M. Tabor, Foreman. 

Grand Jury Room, March 31, 1892, 



No one who is at all familiar with what preceded 
the action of the March Grand Jury, and what has 
transpired since that time, will be surprised at the 
space which we have devoted in Chapter VII. to 
the sessions of that Jury and to the presentment in 
which its painstaking investigations culminated. That 
presentment furnished us the groundwork on the 
basis of which all our subsequent efforts have been 
prosecuted to establish the legal credibility of our 
charges against the Police Department. The Jury 
published it as its sworn opinion that the police 
force of New York was either incompetent or crim- 
inal, and that it was not incompetent. So that from 
that time on, whenever we found it convenient or 
necessary to call our Police Department vicious, or to 
apply to it any other epithet that occasion seemed to 
require, we felt the combined judicial authority of the 
March Grand Jury as our voucher and guaranty ; it 
lifted the activity of the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime out of the region of crankism, and wrought 
within that Society a grounded assurance and secured 


to it a dignity and a status. A great deal of the 
recent victory on the 6th of November was simply 
the action of the March Jury of 1892 come to its 

The decided terms in which the presentment was 
couched were received by the friends and officials of 
the Police Department with inexpressible scorn. The 
generality of the charges relieved specific pressure 
on individual members of the Department, but made 
it only by so much the more difficult either to reply 
to or to escape the suspicion beneath which all its 
members were henceforth obliged to labor. They 
were instantly converted into a body of suspects, and 
no language which they might employ, either of the 
ordinary or of the profane sort, operated to their re- 
lief or deliverance. 

If the police officials had been as honest in their in- 
tention as they were jealous of their reputation, they 
would have taken prompt measures to follow up the 
presentment, and either have attempted to refute the 
imputation or purify the Department. But the second 
they did not want to do, and the first they knew they 
could not do. It is amusing at this later date, when 
so many of the foul secrets of the Police Commission- 
ers and their subordinates have been brought to light 
by the Lexow Investigation, to recall the passionate 
declarations of innocence with which the hard, dry 
imputations of the March Grand Jury were greeted. 
Of course the Commissioners, the Superintendent, the 


Inspectors, and the Captains knew then just as well 
as we know now, how inadequately even the stern lan- 
guage of Mr. Tabor's jurors was to state the whole 
foul truth of the case ; and yet those same officials, 
some of whom are directing the affairs of the Depart- 
ment to-day, and even planning to have a hand in 
its reorganization, rose up in indignant protestation 
against the cruel injustice that had been done the 
"Finest Police Force in the World." 

The Tribune of April 2d quoted Commissioner Mc- 
Clave as saying : " If my information is correct, the 
police power in this city is the best in the world." It 
will be remembered that this same Mr. McClave re- 
signed his position on the Board shortly after Mr. 
Goff's interview with him before the Lexow Com- 

President Martin is quoted by the World of April 
3d, as saying : " The accusation that the police are in 
the pay of disorderly and gambling-houses is both in- 
consistent and absurd." 

Inspector Williams is quoted by the same authority 
as saying : " I have been a police officer for twenty-six 
years, and the Rev. Dr. Parkhurst and the members of 
his church have contributed more to houses of prosti- 
tution than I have, and have derived more benefits 
from them." Newspaper files of that date will fur- 
nish the interested inquirer with considerable material 
of the same quality. 

The decided and confident terms in which the 


presentment was couclied produced throughout the 
city a strong reaction in behalf of our cause. Popular 
sentiment is a peculiar commodity, and rises and falls 
with an energy that it cannot always itself account 
for. There is a certain contagion in human opinion, 
and at the impulse of Foreman Tabor's manifesto, the 
human mind, as reflected by individual utterances and 
by the attitude of the press, arrayed itself unequivo- 
cally on the side of the new movement against the 
Police Department. We could distinctly see that a 
reactionary tendency would before long assert itself, 
and were not, therefore, surprised when it appeared. 
But, for the time being, the cause represented by the 
Society for the Prevention of Crime was in the as- 
cendant, and the Police Department driven to the 
wall and obliged to make some show of virtue, how- 
ever destitute it might be of virtue's reality. This 
astute commingling of the comic and tragic was con- 
summated in what has since come to be known as the 
" Great Police Shake-up," and occurred on the 19th of 
April, 1892. Before entering into the particulars of 
the " Shake-up " it is necessary to notice that one 
week previous, that is, on April 12th, William Murray 
had resigned from the Superintendency of the Police, 
and had been succeeded by Chief-Inspector Thomas 

Thomas Byrnes had won international reputation as 
a detective, and it was somehow hoped that what had 
evinced itself as ingenuity in his former capacity 


would reproduce itself in the shape of executive tal- 
ent in the new and more authoritative position to 
which he was now promoted. No man ever had a 
greater opportunity to make himself felt, if only he 
had the requisite integrity of purpose and the requis- 
ite strength of purpose. The popular mind was 
aroused to the necessity of more thorough adminis- 
tration of the Department, and the moral sense of the 
town was prepared to extend to him a warm welcome 
and to afford him firm backing ; and among all these 
there were none more ready to recognize any honest 
effort on Mr. Byrnes's part than the Society for the 
Prevention of Crime and its executive committee ; and 
the daily journals of that date bear abundant testimony 
to the fact. 

The prompt aggressive action of the Superintendent 
went far to strengthen the confidence that we were 
willing and anxious to repose in him. He not only 
stated that his " one supreme object would be the en- 
forcement of the laws without fear or favor," but im- 
mediately bestirred himself in a way that strengthened 
the hopes of his friends, and excited the apprehension 
of evil-doers. The second day after his appointment 
the police captains were all of them summoned to his 
office. The Recorder of April 19th, reports him as de- 
claring that he was " fully determined to enforce the 
laws. He had nothing to do with the making of the 
laws," he said, " but so long as they exist he would 
see that they were obeyed. The saloons would be 


closed down every Sunday while these laws were in 

The degree to which the general expectation was 
aroused is indicated by the following extract from the 
Herald oi April i6th : 

The days of what few gambling-houses and disrep- 
utable resorts that are still open in the city are num- 
bered. By the latter part of next week these will go 
the way of those already closed. Every police captain 
in the city has received instructions to arrest the pro- 
prietors of all such places, and to see that each and 
every house is immediately shut and barred. They 
have also received instructions to allow no violations 
of the Excise law, and every saloon-keeper who has 
heretofore obliged his thirsty patrons on Sunday morn- 
ing will be arrested the moment his doors are opened. 

His first Sunday in office only about half the usual 
number of saloons were reported to be open. No one 
could be at all knowing to the strength with which 
crime was intrenched among the criminal classes, and 
lawlessness become a chronic condition among the 
police, without anticipating that Mr. Byrnes could not 
carry out his professed intention without a struggle ; 
but we were all of us inclined for a few days to believe 
that he would make a brave fight of it, and we would 
have jumped in with him for all that we were v,'orth. 

This brings us again to the point which we have 
already touched on a previous page, namely, that of 
the " Shake-up." This took place just one week after 


Mr. Byrnes became Superintendent ; thirty-five cap- 
tains were shifted. So complete an upheaval had 
never been known. This event, taken in connection 
with the " dry " Sunday, and the great show of pur- 
pose evinced during the previous week, made of the 
19th of April a red-letter day. 

It was not until there had been a little time for 
thought that even the most wary among us ventured 
to interpret the last move as being anything other 
than an honest attempt to strengthen the Department 
and purify its service. The Superintendent might 
transfer his captains every day now and nobody would 
be hoodwinked by it ; but it was a new thing then, 
and we were not so accustomed to being fooled Avith. 
That was before the Department had done as much 
posing as it has since, and before it took as much police 
wool as it does now to overspread the public eye. One 
of the singular features in the history of the last three 
years, as far down as the 6th of November last, when 
Mr. Byrnes displayed spasmodic virtue and made 
special arrangements for securing an honest ballot, 
has been the readiness with which the public has con- 
sented to have its impaired confidence in police of- 
ficials restored. Even the Executive Committee of 
the Society for the Prevention of Crime have once 
or twice come very near to being swamped in the 
general condition of bamboozlement. The admin- 
istrative and executive heads of the Department, 
to say nothing of their subordinates, must have dc- 


rived a great deal of sly entertainment from the 
credulity with which the Superintendent's bit of in- 
nutritious bait was, on the 19th of April, seized by 
the people and by the newspapers. Even at that time, 
however, the question was sometimes covertly raised, 
" If Captain Jones, for instance, performs the duties of 
his office in an incompetent or criminal way in the 
Eighth Precinct, how is his service to be permanently 
improved by being shifted to the Ninth Precinct? 
If he is an able and faithful officer he can do his best 
work where he is best acquainted, and if he is an 
incompetent and corrupt officer, he cannot do good 
service anywhere." This view of the matter was 
sometimes taken, but there was something in the 
revolution wrought by Byrnes that looked like a con- 
cession to popular demand, and it was let go at that 
without being considered either very concernedly or 
very seriously. Mr. Byrnes had said that it was for 
the good of the Department, and Mr. Byrnes had 
organized the finest detective bureau in the known 
world ; therefore the public were easily contented to 
take his word for it. 

At that time the blackmailing machinery of the 
Department was not as well understood by any of us 
as it is now, and there was one feature of the " Shake- 
Up" that could not, therefore, at that time, be appre- 
ciated, which is this, that when a new captain came 
into a "rich " precinct (rich in the sense of containing 
a goodly number of disorderly and gambling houses). 


a fresh levy is made on its gambling industries, pre- 
sumably with the intent of indemnifying himself for the 
sum he has had to pay in order to secure the captaincy 
of such precinct ; so that while a great shake-up looks 
like a strenuous effort on the part of the force to 
better its service, one of its most substantial effects is 
to stimulate certain of the shifting captains' revenue. 
The method by which this works was interestingly 
shown by Mrs. Schubert, in her testimony given before 
the Lexow Committee. Mrs. Schubert had been the 
keeper of a disorderly house on Chrystie Street, and 
we extract from her testimony as follows : 

Q. How much money did you give up to Captain 
Cross ? 

A. Five hundred dollars. 

Q. Where did you pay that money ? 

A, In my house. 

Q. Did he go into the house for it ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did he say ? 

A. Just introduced himself, that he was the new 
captain and that he wanted five hundred dollars and 
fifty dollars every month. 

Q. Was there anything said when you gave him the 
five hundred dollars about your being able to do busi- 
ness ? 

A. Well, yes ; he said I would be protected, to run 
along quiet and not make any disturbance, fighting, or 
any noise ; just to run my business quietly. 

OUR FIGHT wrni tammaxv 97 

Q. When Captain Cross went away Captain Devery 
came there did he not? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did you have a visit from Captain Devery ? 

A. The same kind of a visit. He came to the 
house and introduced himself as anew captain. 

Q. What did he say about money ? 

A. Well, five hundred dollars. 

Q. You were doing business before Captain Cross 
came into the precinct, weren't you ? 

A. McLaughlin was there. 

Q. Did you have an interview with Captain Mc- 
Laughlin ? 

A. The same thing. 

Q. Did Captain McLaughlin demand money from 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did he say ? 

A. Five hundred dollars. 

Those who are not familiar with the sort of testi- 
mony that was brought out by the Lexow Committee 
will be able to gain some notion of it from the above 
quotations. Our principal object in citing them, how- 
ever, was to show the financial side of a "shake-up." 
A "shake-up" means, at least in the three cases just 
specified (and these are probably only a fair sample of 
most of the rest), that when Captain Jones is trans- 
ferred to Captain Smith's precinct, and vice versa, 
Jones and Smith both are able to pocket five hundred 


dollars initiation fee from each of the disreputable 
houses in their new precincts respectively. " Shake- 
ups " look like police activity, but the most that they 
mean is a new twist on the extortion screw. It is a 
favorite expression used by Mr. Byrnes in connection 
with the transfer of captains, that it was done " for the 
good of the service." The above statement of Mrs. 
Schubert (which has been manifoldly corroborated) will 
give to the unsophisticated reader a new conception 
of what Mr. Byrnes means by '■'■ the good of the service." 

Such, then, is the estimate we have to form of the 
great police " Shake-up " of April 19th, when interpreted 
in the light of disclosures that have been since made. 
A repetition of that move would now be instantly re- 
sented as a shilly-shallying affectation on Mr. Byrnes's 
part, and an insult to the integrity and good sense of 
the town. As was distinctly disclosed by the testi- 
mony given by Commissioner Sheehan before the 
Lexow Committee, this shifting of the captains was 
carried out in accordance with a memorandum fur- 
nished by the Superintendent, which shows two things : 
First, the amount of subterfuge of which the Superin- 
tendent will avail when he is laboring for popular 
effect ; second, the amount of power which he has 
been able to exercise notwithstanding his chronic 
pretence that he was practically restrained from all 
executive action by the embarrassing limitations put 
upon him by the Police Commissioners. 

It would be a libel upon the Superintendent's insight 


as police officer, to imagine that he thought that any 
permanent advantage would accrue to the city from a 
recast of the fields in which respectively a lot of 
criminals and incompetents should perform their of- 
fice ; and it would be just as much of a libel upon Mr. 
IJyrnes's sagacity, to suppose that he had not a clear 
comprehension of the criminal system of barter that 
obtained in the Department in the purchase of oppor- 
tunities and the sale of immunities. 

Mr. Byrnes has recently been reported in the Tribune 
of November, 1894, as saying that, in view of the dis- 
closures made by the Lexow Committee, he thought 
the police force ought to be thoroughly reorganized. 
In other words, having been a member of the police 
force here for thirty-one years — patrolman, rounds- 
man, sergeant, captain, inspector, superintendent — it 
took a committee, largely made up of gentlemen from 
outside of the city, to show this old police veteran the 
foul rottenness in the midst of which he had been for 
almost a third of a century wading and plying the 
officer ; and yet there are men in this city to-day urg- 
ing that Mr. Byrnes shall help reorganize our police 

We have been thus explicit in this part of our re- 
cital in order that it may be understood what some of 
the difficulties are against which the thorough and 
earnest sentiment of community has to contend in its 
efforts radically to improve our municipal condition. 
This was only one of a long series of instances in 


which the high police officials kept a careful finger on 
the general pulse, and made a showy demonstration of 
virtue when popular blood was approaching fever 
mark. The issue demonstrated, however, that there 
was no change in the spirit and purpose of the Depart- 
ment. Viewed with reference to the possibilities of 
blackmailing, there is pretty good soil over almost 
the whole of Manhattan Island, and a police captain 
who has been for any length of time on the force pos- 
sesses a quick facility for sinking his roots anywhere ; 
and the process of being "shifted" works no substan- 
tial diminution of his revenue if, as he is likely to 
succeed in doing, he arranges to have his old trusted 
wardman graze for him in his new pasture. 



The colossal piece of police posing which we have 
described under the title of " The Great Police Shake- 
up," produced its calculated effect, and the sentiment 
of community began immediately to rally to the sup- 
port of the Department. The tide of popular indorse- 
ment that had been setting quite strongly in our favor 
since the presentment of March showed clear tokens 
of ebbing, and we could easily see that other influ- 
ences, soon to be set in operation, would be almost 
certain to work in the same direction. 

A number of indictments had been found by the 
March Grand Jury on the basis of evidence secured 
by Erving, Gardner, and myself, in the course of our 
tour of investigation. These cases must be tried and 
we must appear as witnesses. We have had a good 
many cases pigeon-holed, first and last, but we knew 
very well that these would not be. 

So long as the results of our investigation of disor- 
derly houses was stated only in the general terms em- 
ployed in the discourse of March 13th, there was little 
likelihood that the public would take offence ; but a 


jury trial does not stop with general statements, and 
the effect which Mr. Erving and myself easily antici- 
pated as the issue, from the detailed canvass of the 
charges in question, would be to weaken the support 
of uncertain friends, and to arouse our enemies to a 
frenzy of affected loathing and hypocritical indigna- 
tion. In neither of these respects were we disap- 
pointed. It was part of the plan of the campaign, 
however, and had to be gone through with. Those 
trials before the Court of General Sessions occurring 
early in May, marked a crisis in the history of the Re- 
form Movement. We knew that if they were not con- 
ducted in such a way as to crush us, nothing could. 
No pains were spared to make us appear infamous. 
Practically it was not the keepers of disorderly resorts 
that were on trial, but Erving and myself. There is 
one public journal of whose conduct during those pro- 
ceedings I cannot even to-day think without execra- 
tions that defy utterance. The loathsome malignity 
of the man whose genius inspired that sheet was just 
too human to be that of a beast, and a good deal too 
beastly to be that of a man. Time and event work 
their own revenges, however, and the rotten institu- 
tion of which he was a part, and to which he minis- 
tered as a journalistic guardian angel, lies buried to- 
day beneath the ballots of a regenerated city. 

I cannot fail, in this connection, to speak of the 
courteous, and even kindly treatment, which, during 
this ordeal, I experienced at the hands of Judge Fitz- 


gerald ; his single aim seemed to be to restrain the 
proceedings within the limits proper to a judicial in- 
vestigation, and to correct the impression, assiduously 
cultivated, that it was the witness, not the defendant, 
that was on trial. To quote from the IVorld of 
May 7th : "When the case (of Mrs. Adams) was be- 
gun, Lawyer Howe told the jury that he intended to 
show that Dr. Parkhurst was a criminal. As he ut- 
tered these words. Assistant District-Attorney Mcln- 
tyre demanded that the Court protest against such 
language. Judge Fitzgerald asked that Mr. Howe 
confine himself to the limits of the case. ' The proper 
office of an opening address to the jury,' said the 
Judge, ' is to state the evidence that will be presented. 
The defendant is on trial, not Dr. Parkhurst.' " 

Considering the character that has of late dis- 
tinguished the District-Attorney's office of this city, 
and its confessed alliance with the system of malad- 
ministration against which we were battling, it might 
have been anticipated that the prosecuting officer in 
these cases would have discharged his office either 
traitorously or at least half-heartedly. On the con- 
trary, too much cannot be said of the earnest faithful- 
ness with which District-Attorney Mclntyre threw 
himself into the work. As he remarked to me in a 
conference held somewhat later, when referring to 
these matters : " I made up my mind that the de- 
fendants were guilty and resolved to do my best to 
convict them." 


It only remains to add that convictions followed in 
every case. Foreign as it has been to the purpose of 
the Society for the Prevention of Crime, during these 
three years past, to secure the punishment of in- 
dividual criminals, yet the issue of the warrants just 
mentioned marked a certain amount of definite prog- 
ress ; it was a kind of judicial certificate to the fact 
that however mistaken we might be in our " methods," 
and however cranky we might be in our theories, when 
we said a thing was so, there was some likelihood at 
least that our statement was one that it was safe to 
tie to. 

Notwithstanding the distinct language of criticism 
which we have just applied to one of our city dailies, 
we should be at fault if we did not, at the same time, 
recognize the valuable service it rendered to the cause, 
all undesignedly and unwittingly. Its viciousness was 
so vicious, and its malignity so malignant as to undo 
a good deal of its own work, defeat its own base ends, 
and initiate a reaction in our behalf. The American 
mind believes in fair play ; and when the sheet re- 
ferred to — the unconfessed organ of the unmention- 
able vices that were flourishing under Tammany pat- 
ronage — had for some months dealt with Erving 
and myself and the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime as though we, and not the gamblers and the 
prostitutes and their police protectors, were the parties 
on trial, it began more and more to occur to our 
fellow - citizens that, while we might have been ex- 


ceedingly injudicious in our methods, it was some 
one besides ourselves that had been breaking the 
laws, and that to hold us upon the editorial grid- 
iron day after day, when the worst thing, perhaps, that 
could be said of us was that we had undertaken in a 
very questionable and injudicious way to ventilate the 
official depravity for which the aforesaid journal stood 
as sponsor, was not quite an ingenuous way of meet- 
ing the situation. This idea gained currency, and it 
is to the conscienceless savagery of the editor of that 
sheet, more than to any other one cause, I think, that 
that growing currency was due. 

It is to the influence above referred to that we were 
indebted in part for the invitation that was extended 
to us to discuss the question of " Christian Citizenship " 
in Washington. A certain degree of remoteness en- 
ables one better to understand the conflict that is in 
progress and to estimate the strength and quality of 
the forces that are engaged. At any rate, the invita- 
tion came from Washington, and was significant for two 
reasons ; first, it was one indication that the contest 
here in New York was coming to be interpreted as 
something more than a local matter ; and second, 
emanating from the source it did, it was a testimonial 
to the significance and dignity of the Reform Move- 
ment, and in that way worked encouragingly and con- 
tributed something toward turning the scale once 
more in our favor. 

The invitation to speak in Washington bore the 


name of the Rev. Teunis S. Hamlin, pastor of the 
Church of the Covenant, in which the address was to 
be held, William Strong, H. L. Dawes, Charles C. 
Nott, John Wanamaker, and S. B. Elkins. 

The meeting was presided over by President Ran- 
kin, of Howard University, who said, in the course of 
his remarks introducing the speaker : 

"'The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's 
head.' This is the earliest prediction of the Messiah. 
This process is not agreeable to the serpent. Of 
course, he lifts his bruised head and gives vent to a 
great hiss, and all the little serpents hiss with him. It 
is the serpent's brood that has been disturbed. But 
notwithstanding all that, there is God's authority for 
the bruise. 

" There is no sentimentality weaker than that which 
regards it right to condemn wicked things in preach- 
ing, but wrong to break them up in practice. There 
is no folly greater than to pay city officials to make 
laws and to enforce laws, and then to allow the same 
officials to connive at their violation ; to make com- 
mon cause with the transgressors ; as the Bible ex- 
presses it, ' to consort with thieves and to be par- 
takers with adulterers.' 

" A man does not lay aside any of the prerogatives 
of citizenship by becoming a Christian minister ; he 
only consecrates them. Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, the dis- 
tinguished citizen of New York, who has been invited 


to speak here by the pastor of this church, whose 
iUness and family sorrow prevent his presence, well 
deserves the gratitude and honor here extended him. 
It is not exactly certain what the Apostle means when 
he says he fought with the wild beasts at Ephesus. 

"What Dr. Parkhurst has done for New York he 
has not done for New York alone. He has done it 
for Washington and Chicago, and every other great 
city on this continent. 

" If there is any shame in the act, we Christian citi- 
zens of this capital city of the nation wish by our 
presence here to participate in that shame. When a 
thing ought to be done, it must be done in the only 
manner in which it can be done. There is no incon- 
sistency between the scourge of small cords for the 
back of the tempter, and the tender words, ' Neither do 
I condemn thee,' for the ear of the broken-hearted peni- 
tent. The Lion of the tribe of Judah is the Lamb of 
God that takes away the sin of the world." 

Another symptom of the returning support of com- 
munity, especially among the young men, was indi- 
cated by the gathering held at Scottish Rite Hall, 
on Madison Avenue, on the evening of May 12th, at 
which there were represented forty religious and sec- 
ular societies of the city. It seemed as though the 
time had come for commencing to organize the ear- 
nest sentiment of the town into action. Conservative 
Christians and radical sinners vrere still propounding 


to themselves the question whether the whole move- 
ment was not a vicious one ab initio^ and whether 
what they were inclined to think the criminality of my 
proceedings, did not acquit reputable people from all 
obligation to interfere with the evident criminality of 
the police in their proceedings. There were confer- 
ences enough held on the matter, and homiletical fire- 
works enough set off to inaugurate a new Lutheran 
Reformation, but in the meantime community was 
still standing with its arms akimbo, the police foster- 
ing and permitting crime after the same old diabolical 
way, and the tovv^n settling down more and more 
deeply into the quagmire of pecuniarily protected 
vice. There was, however, a large element of young 
life throughout the town that was willing to leave 
questions of casuistry to Howe & Hummel, Sheehan, 
and an indeterminate clergy, and set its hands to the 
work of doing something to put a period to our mu- 
nicipal woe and dishonor. Hence the meeting in Scot- 
tish Rite Hall, May 12th. There were about seven hun- 
dred young men present from all parts of the city; they 
were not clear what they could do, but were confident 
that they could do something. The meeting was held 
under the auspices of the Society for the Prevention 
of Crime, several of whose directors were present, 
among others Louis L. Delafield, who presided, Chan- 
cellor MacCracken, Dr. J- N. Hallock, David J. Whit- 
ney, Frank Moss, E. A. Newell, and W. C. Stuart. 
The following words, spoken by myself at that 


time, are introduced here mainly for the significance 
that is given to them by tlie events that have trans- 
pired later : 

" The fault with you and with me is that we do not 
individually recognize our own civic obligations to 
the city of which we are "residents. In one sense of 
the term I have a profound admiration for Tammany 
Hall. It is an unquestioned fact that Tammany has 
richly earned the position of influence and of admin- 
istrative power which she holds. She has been faith- 
ful, she has studied her own interests, she has looked 
to what she chooses to call her obligations, and by 
virtue of her fidelity she never takes a recess ; she 
never goes off on a vacation, and through this devo- 
tion to herself she is what she is. There is a lesson 
in that. You can learn lessons even from the devil, 
in the point of fidelity and unswerving devotion to the 
one object that is in view. That same kind of fidelity, 
of constant and conscientious recognition of the re- 
lations in which we stand to our city, you and I have 
not exercised, and that explains our present situation. 
We have no right to sublet our obligations and let 
some one else exercise them in our behalf. 

"Last night there was another raid in the Tender- 
loin gambling district. There is a good deal that is 
funny about these gambling-house raids. There were 
eighteen warrants secured by Mr. Byrnes. You have 
read in the Scriptures about the house that was empty; 


swept, and garnished. There is nothing so clean as 
a gambling-house before a raid. Among them was a 
warrant against Daly's gambling-house. These eigh- 
teen houses were raided, fourteen of them were clean 
and in the other four there was nothing going on, 
but some of the furniture was taken. There was a 
gentleman in my house last evening while this was 
going On. He had been out gambling. He said that 
he went up to Daly's. They told him, 'We would 
like to take you in but we are doing nothing now.' I 
could have told Mr, Byrnes myself that Daly's was not 
running. Well, they told this gentleman, ' We know 
you well, but we received instructions from the authori- 
ties to keep very close until the storm blows over.' 
Now, what kind of a municipal administration do you 
call that ? Standing right in with each other. ' But,' 
says the darkey who had his eye in the slot of the 
door, ' I'll tell you what you can do. There is a place 
where, until the storm blows over, we are sending our 
patrons.' He went there, and, fortunately for him, he 
lost what little he had ; and a singular thing about it 
is that that gambling-house, though situated in the 
same district, was not touched at all last night. Now 
this is hypocrisy ; it is a lie straight through. 

"We who are evangelical believe in a man's being 
born again. The city of New York administratively 
has got to be thoroughly born again. No slight modi- 
fications of policy that may be made, like the sending 
of a police captain from the Fourth Precinct to Goat- 


ville, or the sending of one from Goatville to the 
Fourth Precinct, will suffice. That does not touch 
the genius of the institution. It is thoroughly, inher- 
ently, and intrinsically corrupt, and it is bound to re- 
main corrupt until the devil of Tammany Hall has been 
thoroughly cast out and the spirit of purity and honesty 
and administrative integrity has entered in its stead." 

It was from this meeting that there developed the 
organization now known as the City Vigilance League. 
About two hundred of those present expressed a wish 
to enroll themselves for active service in the cause of 
municipal reform, and subscribed their names to pledge- 
cards which read as follows : 

" I hereby pledge myself to study the municipal in- 
terests of this city, and to do everything in my power 
to promote the purity and honesty of its government." 

A committee of five was designated to perfect an 
organization and to arrange for carrying forward work 
upon lines that had been laid down by the speakers of 
the evening. This committee consisted of A. S. Ly- 
man, W. B. Young, H. K. Twitchell, R. M. Lloyd, and 
C. H. Parkhurst, and its plan of action was submitted 
and adopted on the i8th of the same month. 

It would be off from the main line of our purpose to 
enter into the details of the organization and work of 
the City Vigilance League ; it will suffice to say that 
it embraces the entire city in its scheme of operation. 
Local organizations have been established in each of 


the thirty Assembly Districts of the city, and the lead- 
ers of those districts respectively compose the central 
committee upon which devolves the responsibility 
of the entire organization. Each Assembly District 
leader associates with himself trusty men, sufficient in 
number to have each election district represented, re- 
quiring in all, therefore, 1,141 workers, with such ad- 
ditional number, however, as the exigencies of the 
case in the special election district may require. This 
enables the League to keep in touch with each specific 
locality throughout the entire town. 

The League is mortgaged to no sect and to no 
school of politi-cs ; its members are not seeking office, 
and we are bound by the terms of our constitution to 
put forward no candidates for office. Our aim is to 
acquaint ourselves with our city, to study its needs, to 
publish existing abuses whatever may be the party or 
whoever may be the man that may be responsible for 
them, and to stimulate, especially among the young 
men, both of our native and foreign population, that 
understanding of municipal interests that shall help to 
make the municipal ballot intelligent, and that appre- 
ciation of civic duties that shall help to render the 
municipal ballot clean and honest. In a word, the 
League represents the continuance of that straight 
line of rectitude and individual self-regardlessness 
needed in order to win the victory of November, and 
just as much needed in order to render the fruits of 
that victory an abiding possession. 



As soon as it was generally known that the Society 
for the Prevention of Crime was unreservedly com- 
mitted to the public interest and that it was making 
war on crime, and in particular on the police as the sala- 
ried protectors of crime, lines of confidence and of in- 
tercommunication began presently to open themselves 
between such as were being offended or injured by 
the existing lawlessness, and our Society, so that we 
were soon able to know, with great accuracy, the con- 
dition of affairs in every part of the city. Out of 
some thousands of such letters received during the 
last two or three years, we reproduce here the follow- 
ing as fair samples, premising that the first inserted 
was addressed to Dr. Howard Crosby and written as 
long ago as 1879, when Captain (now Superintendent) 
Byrnes ("Burns") was in charge of the precinct to 
which " Broken-hearted wife's " complaint refers. It 
is at least fifteen years, therefore, since Byrnes began 
to become acquainted with the iniquitous system here 
prevailing, and which he has lacked the moral courage 
to expose. 



New York City, July 29, 1879. 
Rev. Howard Crosby. 

Sir : If you will break up the gambling hells in 
Bleecker Street, Thompson, and the low dance houses 
or stores turned into halls, you will do the Christian 
community a service, and save many a poor woman 
who is on the road to ruin. I have seen mothers beg- 
ging their children home from these places night after 
night. Captain Burns of the Police says he can't 
break them up as they have political influence behind 
them. See if you cannot. 

(Signed) A Heart-Broken Wife. 

Kind Sir : I would like you to close a policy shop. 
It has been running for a long time. I am a citizen of 
this country and I do not think it is right to have 
them things in this country or in this city. I have 
wrote to Police Headquarters and it did no good, so I 
thought I would write to you and see if you would be 
so kind as to close it up. You would receive the 
thanks of me and many a sufferer of the game. It is 
located at a cigar store, — Washington Street, New 
York City. 

Yours truly, 

(Signed) A True Citizen of this Country. 

New York, December 26, 1894. 
Rev. Chas. E. Parkhurst. 

Dear Sir : I read the IVor/d every day, and like 
very much the way you show up the police. I know a 
policy-shop here that pays $25.00 per month for pro- 
tection (the writer tells me himself), and I have seen 

OUR I'lGirr wnn tammanv 115 

him write as high as $30.00 per day, and seen children 
as young as ten years, yes eight years, bring in plays, 
and I know he has been arrested a couple of times 
and is out on bond. He gets $2.50 a day when ar- 

He says if there is anything in the wind the Central 
lets him know in time. 

I could write and tell you more if I was sure I 
would not be known, or would not get my name in the 
newspapers. I know this shop is a rank swindle, and 
could easily be broken up if the detectives wanted to. 

I hope you will not let any reporter get a copy of 
this, for if the w^-iter (policy) should see it he might 
suspect. I was coming to see you at your residence, 
but was not sure I would be able to see you. If I 
could show up this place without being known, I 
would. Yours truly, 

(Signed) Joseph Brown. 

Note. — Of course the above is not my true name, 
but will do. J. B. 

December 12, 1894. 
Dear Doctor: Won't you please try and close the 
policy-shop at Seventh Avenue, between Thirty- 
first and Thirty-second Streets. The people all go in 
through the cigar store ne.xt door. He has a private 
door in the back of his store. The policy-shop is the 
biggest one in the whole district. The police know 
all about it, but don't care. Please^ Dr. Parkhurst, 
close this infamous and dirty hole. The saloon at 

, next door, is just as bad. 

(Signed) Mother with Four Bovs. 


New York, December 24, 1894. 
Rev. Dr. Chas. H. Parkhurst, 

No. 133 East Thirty-fifth Street, 

New York City. 
Dear Sir: After repeated notices to the police to 
remedy the following evil, with no attention paid to 
them at all, I call upon you, as a last resource, and, I 
think, a sure one. 

There is a liquor store at No. Rivington Street 

which is, in reality, a gambling hell of the worst 
character. It is open all night and on Sunday is open 
all day, and inhabited by at least one hundred per- 
sons who lose all their wages and worse. 

The owner admits that he pays police protection, 
and the officer on the post goes in there for his daily 
glass of beer. 

If you can do anything to close this one of many 
evil places, you will confer a great favor on, 
Yours respectfully, 

(Signed) . 

Such correspondence has been an invaluable aid to 
us. A very large proportion of the letters that have 
come to hand were anonymous, and therefore of no 
value as before a court of law ; but they were of un- 
speakable assistance to us as indicating the lines upon 
which we could most confidently work, and by their 
aid, supplemented by that of our detectives, we have 
been able to know from one day to another, just what 
was transpiring throughout the city, what orders were 
being given from station-houses or from headquarters, 


and have known with what degree of rigor or laxity 
laws were being enforced in the several precincts. 

We soon discovered that a sudden enforcement of 
law was but a desire to hoodwink the public, and that 
a raid was a contrivance by which the Superintendent, 
or his subordinates, attempted to amuse themselves 
and delude a credulous community. It took us some 
months to learn that a raid was not to be taken seri- 
ously. If there are two notorious gambling-houses or 
disorderly houses side by side, and one of them is 
raided and the other not, only a fool will imagine that 
there was any more honesty in raiding one of the two 
than in leaving the other unraided. That course of 
procedure has obtained in this city for three years, 
and obtains to-day. Notwithstanding all this spas- 
modic activity that prevailed during the months of 
April and May, the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime knew, and to some extent the people of the 
town suspected that there was no change of sentiment 
or of intention on the part of the Police Department, 
and if there were to be any improved municipal con- 
dition it would have to come from a grand forward 
movement and a concerted protest on the part of the 
people at large. 

All of this paved the way for the Cooper Union Hall 
Mass Meeting of May 26th. There had been a rising 
demand for such meeting for some weeks. The Mail 
and Express had, for a long time been engaged in 
fearless warfare against police corruption, and in its 


issue of May 13th (the date following the meeting at 
Scottish Rite Hall), printed the following under the 
caption : 


More than two hundred young men, enthusiastic, 
intelligent, and profoundly in earnest, agreed last 
night, at the close of Dr. Parkhurst's address at Scot- 
tish Rite Hall, to stand by him in his noble work. 
This is the kind of Americanism and patriotism that 
the hour and emergency demand. The work will grow 
and the workers will increase from day to day. 

It is the old story. The combat against sin is al- 
ways with the right. The people are slow to move, 
but when their eyes are opened to the gravity of the 
situation, when the battle begins, battalion follows 
battalion in the service of conscience until the over- 
throw of the enemy becomes complete annihilation. 

There never was another such opportunity for a re- 
form movement in this city. The iniquities of Tweed 
pale into insignificance beside the blackmailing oper- 
ations on a stupendous scale of this Tammany-ridden 
city. Dr. Parkhurst has only lifted a corner of the 
blanket. If half of the truth were known the world 
would stand aghast at the frightful revelation. 

Think of the administration of the greatest city in 
the United States, and one of the greatest in the world, 
being in league with criminals, challenged with the 
proof of the fact, convicted of the crime and yet de- 
fying public opinion, as Tammany defies it to-day. 

The Society for the Prevention of Crime was dis- 
posed to withhold its support and encouragement of 


such a meeting, doubting whether the time were yet 
quite ripe for it, and fearing that its effect would be 
to draw more sharply the line of demarcation between 
those who sympathized with us and those who did not. 
The pressure, however, became stronger than could 
easily be resisted ; the call was issued and the meeting 
held. This was on the 27th of May. David J. Whitney 
and Dr. J. N. Hallock were the ones most active in per- 
fecting the arrangements. The Society for the Preven- 
tion of Crime has always been most loyal to the mem- 
ory of its first president. Dr. Howard Crosby, and his 
portrait hung back of the stage. The hall was crowded 
to its utmost capacity, the audience containing a fair 
percentage of women. Dr. Hallock called the meeting 
to order and ex-Judge Arnoux was made Chairman. 

The Chairman outlined the history of the movement 
and set forth its purposes. " Many present," he said, 
" are laboring under the misapprehension that this 
crusade is aimed against specific houses of a criminal 
character. Its guns, however, are levelled at higher 
aims. The object of the movement is to make the 
police do their duty, and their whole duty, or stand 
before the world convicted of the presentment of the 
March Grand Jury." 

Ex-Judge Noah Davis, whose participation in the 
breaking of the Tweed Ring made his interest in the 
present cause both so natural and so gratifying, was 
then introduced and enthusiastically greeted. He be- 
gan by saying that the present demonstration reminded 


him of the uprising of the people twenty years before, 
and enlarged upon the part which at that time had 
been played in the Tweed overthrow by Samuel J. 
Tilden and Charles O'Conor. He continued : " You 
have come here to answer the question whether or not 
your boys shall be brought up in the midst of officially 
protected crime. If you say that that shall not be 
done, you can only say it just now by your applause, 
but later, by your hearty devotion to those who have 
courage to pluck aside the curtain and show just where 
we live, and what we are, and what is around us. Most 
men tell us that the President of this Society should 
never have done what he has done ; that a minister 
of the Gospel should spend his whole life persuading 
mankind to make some atonement for the sin of 
Adam ; that he should let all modern Adams alone ; 
that he should preach upon the old line, * In Adam's 
fall we sinned all.' I make no pretensions to fighting 
Adam myself, but if I had been brought face to face 
with the situation that confronted Dr. Parkhurst, if 
my charges had been denied, if a District-Attorney 
had laughed at me, if a Grand Jury had pointed the 
finger of scorn at me, I would have dived to the bot- 
tom of hell, if need be, to prove that I had spoken the 
truth. If there be clergymen in this country, or this 
city, or anywhere, who say they could not have gone 
through such a thing, all I have to say is that they 
know more about themselves than I know. By that I 
mean only just what you think I mean." 


Rabbi F. De Sola Mendes spoke in part, as follows : 
" I presume that the privilege accorded me of speak- 
ing a few earnest words at a notable gathering like 
this, and on an occasion so auspicious of excellent re- 
sult for the city in which we are proud to dwell, must 
be owing to the fact that I am a member, albeit one 
of the least important, of a Society for the Suppression 
of Crime, which boasts of a very rare antiquity. It is 
a Society older than this of New York, older than 
Manhattan even, older than the United States, older 
than the mother-country, England ; in fact, just as old 
as the Jewish nation. When Almighty God, in the 
infinitude of His wisdom, selected a certain family of 
the families of the earth to evangelize the crying 
iniquity, the foul vice and sin of what is conveniently 
called Canaanite ' Idolatry,' then the first Society for 
the Suppression of Vice was formed, and Israel was its 
name. Though many another and many a better ex- 
pounder of that Society's fundamental maxim, ' Holy 
shall ye be, for holy am I, the Lord your God,' could 
have been found to speak to you to-night, it is because 
that divine commission touches and imbues even the 
least of His servants that I, in behalf of your Hebrew 
fellow-citizens, have come to cry ' God speed ' to the 
good work so unexpectedly, so significantly, and I 
may say so triumphantly, put on foot of late. . . . 

" You have said. Dr. Parkhurst, that it was at the 
funeral of our departed friend, who is up there. Rev. 
Dr. Howard Crosby of blessed memory, that you took 


upon yourself the vow to continue his vrork. I, too, 
heard the hearty tribute paid that day to the illustri- 
ous dead, and can imagine the surge of noble emotion 
which came to you then. He was the Moses : be you 
the Joshua. And as I take my seat, let me repeat to 
you the olden words we have cherished among us, 
spoken to Joshua by our Almighty Father in a similar 
emergency in our leader's life, when he, too, was thrust 
to the front by God's call to war upon and stamp out 
the immorality and vice in Canaan : 'There shall not 
any man be able to stand before thee all the days of 
thy life ; as I was with Moses so I will be with thee ; 
I will not fail thee, I will not forsake thee. Only be 
strong and very courageous to observe to do accord- 
ing to all the law which Moses my servant commanded 
thee ; turn not to the right hand nor to the left, that 
thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou 
goest. Have I not commanded thee ? Be strong and 
of good courage ; be not afraid, neither be thou dis- 
mayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee whitherso- 
ever thou goest.' Amen." 

Following Rabbi Mendes, Rev. Dr. David J. Bur- 
rell, after having spoken of Superintendent Byrnes in 
terms of commendation, went on to say : 

"There is a reservation in Superintendent Byrnes's 
recent letter which I do not like. He does not seem 
to be in full sympathy with the law. He seems to be 
enforcing the law because he is obliged to do it, not 
because he is in sympathy with it. He tells us that 


the best way to deal with the brothels would be to 
localize them and put them under the surveillance of 
the police force. We have not appointed Superinten- 
dent Byrnes, who is but the servant of the people, to 
tell us what laws there ought to be. It is not his 
function to legislate ; it is not his function even to 
moralize to the people ; we ministers can do most of 
the moralizing, and what we do not do you can do 
after us ; but the only man in this town who has not 
any right to moralize is the Superintendent of the Po- 
lice ; he is appointed just to keep quiet and do what 
the people tell him to do. What we demand— I like 
that word ' demand ' — what we, the sovereign people, 
demand, is that the law shall be enforced. The people 
are in this thing, and we mean business." 

Frank Moss, Esq., counsel of the Society for the 
Prevention of Crime was then introduced, and although 
speaking briefly, handled with the wisdom begotten of 
intimate acquaintance, the matter of the Police Com- 
missioners and the little confidence that could be re- 
posed in them as a tribunal for the trial of captains. 
He said in part : 

*' Since I began to observe these matters, four po- 
lice captains have been tried on charges of tolerating 
vice. The result of each trial was a tie vote — two 
Commissioners voting the captain guilty and two not 
guilty. I was present at three of the trials. In the 
first the evidence was overwhelming that vice of the 
worst kind had been tolerated for years on the same 


block with the station-house, notwithstanding com- 
plaints of citizens, the houses being regularly reported 
by the captain as disorderly. 

" The tie vote of the Board has never been altered, 
but, curiously, one of the Commissioners who voted 
the captain guilty, at the same session voted to pro- 
mote him in order to break a dead-lock, as he said. 
In the two cases next tried, the gambling-houses 
which had long been reported by captains at head- 
quarters, were raided at the instance of private per- 
sons, without the knowledge or co-operation of the 
captains, and the gamblers were convicted. The cap- 
tains were charged with neglect of duty. Two Com- 
missioners voted them guilty and two not guilty." 

A series of resolutions was presented and adopted 
as follows : 

We, citizens of New York, assembled at Cooper 
Union Hall, May 26, 1892, at the invitation of the 
Society for the Prevention of Crime, to consider the 
subject of crime and its official toleration, do adopt the 
following resolutions : 

I. We cordially thank the Rev. Charles H. Park- 
hurst, President of the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime, for his courageous and self-sacrificing stand in 
calling public attention to protected crime, and for his 
patriotic endeavor to enlist our citizens in the work 
of purifying their own city ; and we pledge our sym- 
pathy and support to him and to that Society in the 
great work which they have undertaken. We recog- 


nize in Dr. Parkhurst qualities of heroism and persist- 
ency which endear him to us. 

2. We thank the Grand Jury of March, 1892, for the 
promptness and fidelity with which it investigated the 
subject as presented by Dr. Parkhurst for the Society, 
and for its now famous presentment. 

3. We demand the prompt enforcement by the Dis- 
trict-Attorney, and the Police Department, and by all 
other departments and officials of our government, of 
all laws for the prevention of vice. 

4. We invoke such action by those who are thereto 
empowered as will destroy the present system of 
official toleration and protection of vice and crime, 
and will bring to speedy justice such ofificials particu- 
larly as fail to discharge their duties because of com- 
plicity with evil-doers. 

5. We demand prompt and vigorous procedure by 
the District- Attorney and others who have authority 
against all property-owners and agents who let houses 
for illegal purposes. (Long applause.) Let the axe 
fall on those who reap golden harvests from vice, 
whether they be officials, real-estate owners, or agents. 

6. We demand that the Police Department proceed 
at once and vigorously against the proprietors and 
owners of gambling and disorderly houses as required 
by Sections 282 and 285 of the Consolidation Act. 

7. For the present condition of protected crime we 
hold responsible, not only the owners of property and 
police ofificials, but also those men and newspapers 
who make common cause with criminals. Most es- 
pecially we hold responsible those men who are in 
political control of our government, and who could the 

• most speedily grant the reforms that are so greatly 


needed. We pledge to each other our best efforts to 
compel those in authority to honestly and earnestly 
enforce the criminal laws. 

I shall be excused for adding the closing paragraph 
from my own address, expressing, as that paragraph 
does, the spirit with which the Society for the Preven- 
tion of Crime has been steadily animated through all 
its hard warfare : 

" This is a long movement. We are not working for 
next November. There is nothing that a live old 
or young man will find worth working for that does 
not reach away into the future. Let us not be dis- 
couraged. Defeats are sometimes the very material 
of victory. I do profoundly thank the February 
Grand Jury for the defeat which it dealt out to me. 
If it had not been for De Lancey Nicoll and the Feb- 
ruary Grand Jury, I should not have been here to- 
night. It takes sometimes a quick lash to stir up the 
serious part of our nature. 

" Though the battle be a long one we all believe, in 
our consciences and before God, that victory is in 
front of us, and victory for New York means victory 
for every large city in the country, and when you have 
redeemed the cities of the country, you have redeemed 
the country in its entirety. 

" If one had known nothing of the criminal strength 
of the Police Department or of the depth to which its 
roots had thrust themselves into the slimy, oozy soil 
of Tammany Hall, it would have seemed as thougl! 


on the evening of the 26th of May, 1892, little re- 
mained but to enjoy the fruits of the victory already 
gained ; or, if one had taken the gathering in Cooper 
Union Hall that evening as a fair expression of the 
convictions of the city at large, even in its better 
elements, the conclusion would have been instanta- 
neous that popular sentiment was already ripe for 
the overthrow of a municipal system against which 
the oratory at that mass meeting was so steadily 
directed, and against which the sentiment of that en- 
thusiastic audience was so unequivocally expressed. 
The fact was, however, that the feeling of the police 
toward us at that time was not at all one of fear, but 
only of irritation, and that the great mass of our 
population regarded the movement far more with in- 
terested curiosity than it did with heated earnestness. 
The public sensation incident to the Cooper Union 
meeting did not yet issue from that point in men's 
hearts at which they keep their solid determinations 
and their moral indignation. Perhaps we did not 
realize it at that time, but the lesson was learned toil- 
somely and painfully in the eighteen months follow- 



There has been, during the past three years, a 
good deal of discussion as to the relation proper to 
exist between the pulpit and municipal politics. I 
have had no disposition to crowd my own views of 
that matter upon others' acceptance. Having reached 
a conviction of my own, I acted accordingly ; and 
while recognizing that others have as much right to 
their opinion as I to mine, it has sometimes seemed as 
though, if, instead of spending so much time in pub- 
lishing and fortifying their opinion, they had dropped 
argumentation and gone to work to minister to the 
city in some better way of their own, it would have 
saved a great deal of unnecessary rhetoric and ac- 
complished more toward recovering us from our 
municipal dishonor. 

While, however, I had no wish to force my opinions 
upon others, I was very willing to express them to 
any that were desirous of hearing them, and accord- 
ingly, at the request of the Alumni of the Union 
Theological Seminary, in this city, prepared the fol- 
lowing address (which seems to me not out of place 


in a record of this kind), and which was delivered at 
the Seminary Building on the 14th of May, 1894, as 
follows : 

I am to speak of the relation of the minister to 
good government. In order fo avoid all misappre- 
hension, let us start out by saying that nothing should 
be allowed to interfere with the pulpit's prime obliga- 
tion to convert men, women, and children to Christ in 
their individual character. No one can have attended 
carefully to Christ's method of working in the world 
without appreciating the emphasis which he laid upon 
the individual^ and without feeling the volume of 
meaning there is in the fact that so many of his finest 
words and deepest lessons were delivered in the pres- 
ence of but a single auditor. There are no associate 
results which do not hide all their roots in the separate 
individualities that combine to compose such associa- 

At the same time, what God thinks most of is not 
a man in his individual character, but men in their 
mutual and organized relations. That is the idea that 
the Bible leaves off upon, and in that way throws 
upon the idea the superb emphasis of finality, culmi- 
nating, as Scripture does, not in the roll-call of a mob 
of sanctified individualities, but in the apocalyptic 
forecast of a Jwly city come down from God out of 
heaven ; not men, therefore, taken as so many separate 
integers, but men conceived of as wrought up into 


the structure of a corporate whole — social, municipal, 

Men require to be sanctified, but the relations 
which subsist between them require to be sanctified 
also. Philemon was a Christian and Onesimus was a 
Christian ; but Onesimus was still Philemon's slave. 
Philemon had been converted, and Onesimus had been 
converted, but the 7-elation between them had not 
been converted. A good part of every man is in- 
volved in his relations, and heaven is not arithmetic 
but organic. 

Wherever men rub against one another, therefore, the 
pulpit has something to say, or ought to have some- 
thing to say. This enhances prodigiously the oppor- 
tunities and obligations of the pulpit, and ought to af- 
fect and modify very seriously the preparation where- 
with a young man equips himself for pulpit service. It 
is simply appalling, the area of inquiry which at once 
opens itself before him and challenges his regard so 
soon as he realizes that the consummation of his mis- 
sion is not to save from hell as many separate people 
as he can, but to become, in God's hands, the means 
of saving society here and now, and precipitating heav- 
en by constructing as much terrestrial heaven as pos- 
sible out of materials already in hand. That is an 
idea that is working in the current mind, and that 
our theological seminaries are beginning to evince 
symptoms of regard for. It is a conception of the 
case that is well-nigh staggering so soon as you begin 


to realize how little of a num's practical life is an indi- 
vidual affair, and what a vast percentage of it concerns 
him in his relations to his fellows. 

You may take a very large percentage of the great 
questions that are always under discussion — social 
questions and political questions — and you will dis- 
cover that such questions are nothing more nor less 
than crystallizations about an ethical nucleus. They 
are not altogether ethical, but they revolve on an ethical 
axis, and the pulpit wants to be prepared to manipu- 
late such questions with a firm hand, rend the ethical 
elements from such as are morally indifferent, and 
then take the ethical elements in their clear sepa- 
rateness and exhibit them, by which I mean preach 
them. There is not a live question in society or in 
State to-day that is not nine-tenths of it a question of 
morals. And before the pulpit handles it it has got 
to know how much of it lies within ethical ground and 
how much without ; for woe be to the preacher who 
undertakes to deal homiletically with such aspects of 
a question as are relevant not to the pulpit but to the 

All of this work means straining solidity of prep- 
aration. It is worse than Greek, tougher than Hebrew, 
or than almost any of the other antiques that ordinar- 
ily ornament the curriculum of a theological seminary. 
Undoubtedly the handling of these matters in the pul- 
pit means friction. But there will always be friction 
when there is power on its way to effect, so that, need 


not alarm anybody. History is going up hill, not 
down, and that always means heated bearings and 
squeak in the wheels. 

Of course there is a way of preaching that will keep 
the axles cool. Unquestionably we might expatiate 
eloquently on historic unrighteousness, and the great- 
er the eloquence the greater the favor with which we 
should be followed. We can malign David for his 
vices, and pour canister-shot into poor Solomon for his 
irregularities ; and his being a back number and hav- 
ing no extant relatives to pound you with a libel suit, 
the whole performance reduces to an elegant sedative, 
just warm enough to stimulate the blood if the church 
is cold, and cold enough to discourage perspiration if it 
is July. 

Here are certain moral ideas to be pushed. Who 
is going to push them if the pulpit does not ? Here 
are certain breaches of moral propriety and decency 
on the part of the national or the municipal govern- 
ment. Who is going to protest, if the pulpit does 
not ? Do you say that that is going outside of your 
diocese ? Well, what is your diocese ? Are you one 
of God's prophets, visioned with an eye that sees right 
and wrong with something of the distinctness of divine 
intuition, and are you going to let that wrong lie there 
as so much ethical rot and close your eyes to it and 
pray, "Thy kingdom come ?" 

That was the superb feature of the old prophets of 
the Hebrews : they were statesmen ; they so grasped 


the times in their Hving and pregnant realities that 
everything stood out before their inspired and burn- 
ing thought in solid relation to the Kingdom of God. 
There was no splitting up of things into holy and 
civic. That splitting and slicing process is one of the 
old serpent's shrewdest devices for getting the biggest 
half of the world in the range of his own quivering 
fangs. Those old prophets of the Hebrews were 
statesmen. They could not help being. Their eye 
went so deep and wide that of necessity they flung 
their arm about everything. There is not a great deal 
of statesmanship in the pulpit to-day, and outside of 
it there is not any — that I know of. There is politics, 
but there is not statesmanship. Do you know what 
the difference is between statesmanship and politics ? 
Well, politics is statesmanship with the moral gristle 
left out. Politics in certain respects is a good deal 
worse than depravity, pure and simple. Thorough- 
bred depravity has the courage of its viciousness. 
About politics there is just that tincture of decency 
that makes it unreliable. I have had to deal with 
men that were elaborately and consistently wicked, 
and I have had to deal with politicians, and I would 
rather cope with ten of the former than one of the 
latter. The politician is like one of those agile and 
cheerful little beasts which, if you put your hand 
where he isn't, he's there ; and put your hand where 
he is, and he isn't there. 

So I say, where are you going to get your states- 


manship unless you get it from the prophets and the 
pulpits? It used to abound at Washington. How 
long has it been since anybody at Washington has 
stood up in the strength of a Wilson, a Sumner, a 
Webster, or an Elijah, and spoken the word that has 
drawn to a snugger tension the moral sense of this 
great people ? We used to have speeches made there 
that would ring clear across the continent, and clear 
the air for a decade. There are themes enough to 
talk about now, and there are brains enough to talk 
about them, but it takes something besides brains to 
lift to a higher tone the national conscience, and to 
stimulate to a quicker and fuller pulse the national 
life. There is not the Samson at Washington that 
will fling his arms about the two pillars and bow him- 
self mightily, for while he might like to shake off the 
Philistines on the roof, he fears more the inconven- 
ience of being dusted by the debris and crushed on 
the underside of the collapse. We never feel quite so 
confident of the perpetuity of American institutions 
as we do just after Congress has adjourned, and Sen- 
ators and Representatives have packed their gripsacks 
and gone home. We feel about Congress in our civic 
relations very much as most of us here to-day do 
about General Assembly in our ecclesiastical relations, 
— we wish that it were at least four years between 
sessions : in fact the longer the better. 

And I am afraid we shall not be much better reward- 
ed for our quest if we search for statesmanship in the 


files of the newspaper press. This is not denying the 
braininess of the press, nor its power, nor the immense 
value of the service which it renders along specific 
lines. But when you come to consider the secular 
press as a moral force, it is not there. I do not mean 
that there is no paper published, no paper in this city 
published, that is a quickener of the moral ener- 
gies of this city and community. What I mean is that 
the daily press is, with hardly an exception, run by its 
business end. The editorial page is definitely deter- 
mined by monetary considerations. Journals are not 
printed for the sake of stating and pushing the truth. 
No man can ever do a thoroughly good thing when he 
is primarily motived thereto by the dollar. You can- 
not preach an inspiring sermon when you feel the 
money there is in it, nor any more can you fill a 
column with editorial electricity when you feel the 
money there is in it. The more a paper puts in the 
pockets of its stockholders, the less, probably, it puts 
into the hearts and lives of its readers. Under exist- 
ing conditions, then^ you cannot with much confidence 
look to the newspapers for statesmanship, for states- 
manship has got to have an ethical element, and 
ethics doesn't pay. If you go into ethic business, you 
will have to dispense with terrapin or live on a legacy. 
So that at present if you are going to have states- 
men you will have to look to the pulpit for them. 
And there is not a better place for them. There is no 
place where one would have any better right to ex- 


pect them to abound. Ninety per cent, of the material 
of social and civic questions being ethical, what reason 
is there why pulpit prophets should not marshal the 
army of event ? They used to do so, why shouldn't 
they now ? If there is any Moses who can climb onto 
the top of Sinai and commune with God and behold 
with an unabashed eye the realities that compose the 
tissue of all history, why should he not lead the wait- 
ing host when he gets back to the foot of the moun- 
tain ? Why leave it to dirty Aaron, who meantime has 
been stripping the people and building golden calves ? 
I am not talking about holding the offices ! To the 
evil one with your offices ! I am talking about hold- 
ing the sceptre over the consciences of people and 
swinging them into beat with the pulse of the heart of 
God, and into pace with the trend of his eternal pur- 
pose. That is the only governance we have any care 
for, and it is the only governance that governs too. 
Talk about the diminishing power of the pulpit ? 
There is power enough if the pulpit will rise to the 
stature of its prophetic dignity, and assert itself and 
exercise its power. I do not believe that so far forth 
the pulpit was ever so powerful as it is to-day. I do 
do not believe that virtue ever respected it more, or 
that vice ever hated it and feared it more than it does 
to-day. If the pulpit is honest, intelligent, untram- 
melled, anxious for nothing so much as to be the 
oracle of God and to see the Lord's Prayer turned into 
history, why, there is nothing that can stand alongside 


of it in point of conscious and confident authority. It 
seizes questions on those sides that are correlated 
with the conscience, and handles them with that poise 
of assurance and challenge that stirs up no end of ma- 
lignity perhaps, but that allows no room for retreat ; 
handles them, too, with that long regard and with that 
impassioned sense of whatsoever is eternal that obvi- 
ates the necessity of partisan discount. There is not 
a knave in this city, nor any corporation of knaves, 
that would not rather have its character portrayed by 
the most influential journal in town, than to have it 
portrayed by a Christian minister ; always being under- 
stood though by a Christian minister, one who tells 
the truth as before God and only for the truth's sake, 
and who is prepared to keep telling it till he wears 
through the epidermis into the quick. 

When you know you are right, and can feel it all 
through you, just as distinctly as Elijah, standing up in 
front of Ahab, felt the three years* drought that was 
coming, there is a dash of omnipotence in the word 
you speak. Its censures fall upon current iniquity 
with the hard thud of a sledge-hammer. The possi- 
bilities of all statesmanship are in it, for it beholds as 
with prophetic vision, the thread of eternal principle 
upon which alone the events of history can be per- 
manently strung ; and so is qualified, as with the in- 
cisiveness and fearlessness of prophetic utterance, to 
state eternal principle in a manner to the bracing of 
virtue and the paralysis of vice. 


And I am saying what I know. I uttered only- 
thirty minutes of indictment against the blood-suck- 
ing scoundrels that are draining the veins of our body 
municipal, and they were all set wriggling like a lot of 
muck-worms in a hot shovel. I am not such a fool as 
to suppose that it was the man that said it that did 
the work ; nor that it was what was said that did the 
work, for it had been said a hundred times before with 
more of thoroughness and detail. 

It zaas the pulpit that did the tvork. Journalistic 
roasting these vagabonds will enjoy and grow cool 
over. But when it is clear that the man who speaks 
it is speaking it not for the purpose of putting money 
into his pocket or power into his party, but is speak- 
ing it because it is true, and in speaking it appreciates 
his oracular authority as one commissioned of God to 
speak it, there is a suggestion of the Judgment-Day 
about it, there is a presentiment of the invisible God 
back of it, that knots the stringy conscience of these 
fellows into contortions of terror. Waning power of 
the pulpit? There is all of power in the pulpit that 
there is of God voicing Himself through the man who 
stands in the pulpit. 

Now, my brethren in the Christian ministry, here is 
a field for you ; a field that is as broad as your intelli- 
gence, and as vast as the indwelling Spirit with which 
you have been divinely baptized. It '\% your field. If 
your ministry is being rendered in this city, for in- 
stance, the associate life of this city, with all of civic 


concern that goes to make up that life, is as justly 
subject to the mastery of your inspired and imperial 
words as were the people of Israel amenable to the 
holy dictatorship of a Moses, a Samuel, an Elijah. Do 
not allow yourselves to be ostracized from your own 
kingdom and your own throne either by custom, 
cowardice, or the devil. I know we are told that 
we ought not to mi.\ in the earthy pursuits or to trail 
our clerical robes through the dust of this secular 
life ! The idea of a rabble of cut-throats, thieves, 
thugs and libertines presuming to stand up and tell 
God's prophets to keep their hands off of the ark of 
the covenant when the sole regard they have for the 
ark is their sacrilegious appetite for the golden pot of 
manna that is preserved in the interior of the ark ! 
Don't let these dirty hypocrites fool you. There is 
moral material enough in community but it lacks 
leadership. The prophets of God are here to meet 
that exigency. That is what they are for ; to foster 
and train moral sentiment, to compact and marshal 
it, and hold it along lines of earnest and intelligent de- 
votement to the common weal. 

This does not at all involve entrance into the de- 
tails of matters and becoming personally complicated 
in the intricacies of administration. That is another 
affair altogether, and one for which the prophet's 
previous training can scarcely be supposed to make 
him competent. But the determinative factor in all 
personal government (as opposed to brute govern- 


ment) is a matter of moral sentiment, and that is a 
commodity of which God's pulpit servants are, ex 
officio, the priests. 

There are all sorts of influences — the influence of 
pelf, the influence of self-seeking, the influence of 
partisanship — which is simply self-seeking on an en- 
larged scale — there are all sorts of influences that 
are operating powerfully to degrade the quality of 
associate life, and to debase the tone of civic admin- 
istration, and the pulpit is the source to which you 
have got to look for that counteracting energy which 
shall set truth and righteousness before the people in 
that substantiality of body and definedness of outline 
which shall quicken the thought, impress the con- 
science, invigorate the purpose, nerve the arm, and 
drive sneaking iniquity to cover. Try to conceive 
what would be the effect upon this city if but a dozen 
of the representative prophets of each of the denom- 
inations were to conceive of themselves, severally, as 
standing before the collective and impersonated de- 
pravity of our municipality in the same attitude of 
conscious divine authority in which Elijah confronted 
Ahab ; by next November you would not have enough 
Tammany Hall left to make it real interesting to 
depict it. 

My brethren in the Ministry, if I have spoken ear- 
nestly I have spoken so because I feel the situation 
and know that not a word has been uttered but what is 
as true as holy writ. Our national security, the achieve- 


ment of what we believe to be our national destiny 
is not a matter of wealth nor of population, nor of 
territorial area, it is a matter of national righteous- 
ness ; it is a matter of honest laws honestly executed. 
It is a matter of nominating to positions of official re- 
sponsibility, and electing when they have been nomi- 
nated, and sustaining when they have been elected, 
men who are God-fearing, who respect truth because 
it is true, righteousness because it is holy, and who 
conceive of office as a sacred trust, and a holy stew- 
ardship. Now, brother, to take an overt and aggres- 
sive position in pursuance of that end, eulogizing 
official integrity and damning official corruption, is 
part of the duty to which you are called. There is no 
man that can do it or that can begin to do it with so 
much effect as an accredited and anointed prophet of 
God. Men do not care for men, but words that be- 
tray the symptoms of a divine sanction fasten upon 
the soul with a grip that cannot be dislodged, and the 
hope of the new American civilization, like that of the 
ancient Hebrew, is still vested in them whom God has 
chosen to be His prophets. 


Gardner's arrest and trial 

We have now traversed with a good deal of detail, 
the four months of 1892 following upon the initial ser- 
mon preached in February of that year. The lines 
were now distinctly drawn and the battle fairly on. 
Each of the two opponents had learned pretty well to 
know his adversary, and it was beginning to be felt 
that the battle would not cease except with the com- 
plete defeat of one or the other of the combatants. 
The ground has, in the preceding chapters, been laid 
out with so much of definiteness that from this time on 
our narrative can proceed with much greater rapidity. 
Very little worthy of record transpired during the 
summer months of '92. Our Society suffered sadly in 
the loss by death in July of Mr. David J. Whitney, an 
indefatigable and fearless worker in the cause, a mem- 
ber of the Executive Committee, and one of the char- 
ter members of the Board. The vacancy thus created 
in the Executive Committee was filled by the election 
of Frank Moss, Esq., who had been, since 1887, the 
Society's attorney. 


At this point in the narrative better than at any 
other, perhaps, it is my pleasure as well as duty to 
recognize the services which have been rendered by 
Messrs. T. D. Kenneson and Frank Moss, as members 
of the Executive Committee of the Society for the 
Prevention of Crime. The community has no ap- 
preciation of the amount of time and effort which 
have been expended by these two gentlemen in the 
interests of our city during the years past. There 
is altogether too much disposition to bestow the 
credit of the issue upon the President of the So- 
ciety, and vastly too little recognition of the fact that 
if he has been able to accomplish anything, it is be- 
cause of tlie wise and tireless support of these two col- 
leagues. Our relations have been those of unbroken 
harmony. Our mutual confidence has been complete, 
and all questions of moment have been decided by our 
combined judgment. 

Neither will it be considered by Mr. Kenneson as 
unjust to himself if I emphasize especially the faithful 
service rendered by Mr. Moss. His relation as at- 
torney to the Society involved a special draft upon 
his time and energy. It ought to be understood by 
our citizens that during all the years that he has served 
the city, devoting to it sometimes for many days to- 
gether, his entire energy, he has not received a dol- 
lar of compensation ; indeed, the terms of our Con- 
stitution forbid that the services of any member 
should be remunerated (except by the love of our 


friends and the hatred of our enemies). Mr. Moss 
has had long experience in deahng with the vicious- 
ness of our Police, and it was with reference to this 
matter that the late Dr. Crosby was writing under 
date of July 26, 1887, when he said : "Whatever may 
be the issue of the Williams matter, Mr. Moss has es- 
tablished a reputation for wisdom, boldness, and en- 
ergy, which any lawyer might covet. He will be 
known by the public as a resolute defender of the 
City's purity." 

Aside from the three members of the Executive 
Committee already specified, the following gentlemen 
have been prominently and officially connected with 
the Society, and devoted to its interests during the 
last three years : 

David J. Whitney,* William A. Harding, William 
H. Arnoux, Edward A. Newell, Henry M. MacCracken, 
Abbott E. Kittredge, Thaddeus D. Kenneson, Frank 
Moss, Lewis L. Delafield, William C. Stuart, J. N. Hal- 
lock, Hiram Hitchcock, Noah Davis. 

Great injustice would be done did we not also men- 
tion the members of our detective force, upon whose 
integrity, fidelity, and skill we have depended in all 
the executive work of the Society ; who have exposed 
themselves to peril and obloquy, but who have identi- 
fied their interests with our own, and to whom, there- 
fore, the gratitude of the public as well as of our 
Society is due for the results which have been accom- 

* Deceased. 


plished. Those especially deserving honorable men- 
tion are the following : 

John H. Lemmon, Edgar A. Whitney, Arthur F. Den- 
net, Benjamin F. Nott, Martin Van Ryn, Henry Burr. 

Our detective force during the autumn of 1892 was 
small, and most of the work was done by C. W. Gardner. 
He understood well, however, the field in which he 
was employed by us to operate, and was by this means 
a continuous irritation to the goldbanded and brass- 
buttoned characters among whom his services were 

It was natural enough, therefore, for Superintendent 
Byrnes to think it an important part of his ofificial duty 
to interpose as many obstacles as possible to our So- 
ciety's activity. There is nothing to show that either 
he, or any of his subordinates, has spent so many anx- 
ious days or watchful nights over any matter as they 
have over the sincere attempts which we have been 
making for the past three years to diminish the vol- 
ume of crime. 

An instance of the above occurred near the end of 
November of that year, as appears from the following, 
taken from the Herald of the 30th of that month : 
" A rule will be reported at the next meeting of the 
Board of Police Justices, which provides that here- 
after, warrants shall be issued only to persons who are 
authorized by law to execute the same. This rule 
will prevent agents of the Rev. Dr. Parkhurst's Society 
from executing warrants as heretofore. 


" The matter was brought to the attention of the 
PoHce Commissioners by Superintendent Byrnes, who 
represented that the habit of issuing warrants to irre- 
sponsible parties ought to be stopped. 

" Dr. Parkhurst in speaking of the matter last night 
said : ' This has been a fair and square fight all the 
way through between the people whom Superintendent 
Byrnes represents and the people we represent. I 
fully understand that when Mr. Byrnes suggested that 
change in the matter of issuing "warrants, it was a 
blow aimed at us. Mr. Byrnes and his followers have 
no love for us, and, without mincing matters, I think 
I may say that we reciprocate the feeling heartily. 

" ' I am glad this change has been made, because it 
separates us, and that influential part of the community 
we represent, from those whom we wish to fight. And 
we shall go right on fighting them, too, and the more 
obstacles they place in our path, the worse it will be 
for them, for we shall spare no pains to put the public 
in possession of the facts. So that this fight, which 
they are making against us, is going to strengthen our 
cause rather than weaken it.' " 

We are not at this point raising any question as to 
the wisdom of the rule proposed by Superintendent 
Byrnes, we are only calling attention to the fact that 
it was he that moved in the matter, and that the im- 
mediate effect of that rule when adopted, would be 
to embarrass the operations of our detectives ; it 
merely occurs to us to ask whether inasmuch as he 


was drafting rules to obstruct our detectives, it would 
not have been eminently commendatory for him at 
the same time to have drafted some rules that would 
have obstructed the criminal operations of some of 
his own detectives. I speak of them here as criminal 
because they have been shown to be such by the Lexow 
Committee. Is it that he enjoyed the criminality of 
his detectives more than he did that of our own ? Or 
that he gave more interested and concerned attention 
to the movements of our detectives than he did to his ? 
The next move in the same direction was the arrest 
of Detective Gardner, less than a week later, that is, 
December 4th. This was one of the severest blows 
ever experienced by our Society, and yet in the issue, 
as we shall soon see, made larger contributions than 
any other single cause to the grand overthrow of last 
November ; it is for that reason that some space needs 
to be accorded to it in any thorough account of our 
three years' work. This is no place to discuss the 
question of Gardner's guilt or innocence ; all that in 
this connection we shall have any interest to say about 
the case will hold with equal force whichever of the 
two alternatives the reader may choose to adopt. Al- 
though in justice to Mr. Gardner, it ought to be said 
that scarcely anyone, outside of Gardner himself, 
is as qualified as the Executive Committee of the 
Society for the Prevention of Crime to arrive at a 
safe conclusion upon the question, and neither one of 
the three members of that committee has the sug- 


gestion of a suspicion of Gardner's guilt. I might 
add, also, that our conviction is shared in by the 
crooks and thugs of the town — parties whose moral 
sense is certainly badly blunted, but who necessarily 
become expert in tracking the devices of the police, 
and exceptionally qualified to interpret their motives 
and methods. 

The charge brought against Mr. Gardner was that 
of attempted blackmail ; he was accused of trying to 
extort protection money from the keeper of a vile re- 
sort. The Police Department, from centre to circum- 
ference, was stirred by the vast possibilities of the 
case. We are speaking within bounds when we say 
that not for many years have the energies of the en- 
tire Department been so concentrated in securing the 
conviction of a reputed criminal. It hardly needs to 
be said, in view of the late developments of the Lexow 
Committee, that that was not because of any antipathy 
to blackmail. The police objected to Gardner's black- 
mailing anyone for the reason that they wanted the 
monopoly of the business themselves, and were anxious 
to secure his conviction, because they thought that in 
convicting him they would be convicting and para- 
lyzing our Society, and thus be destroying the only 
obstacle they knew of to the continuance of the black- 
mailing operations in which they were themselves 
engaged. Aside from the defendant, the conspicuous 
actors in the drama of Gardner's conviction and prose- 
cution, were the prostitute Clifton, Recorder Smyth, 


and Captain Devery. It is a queer commentary on 
the animus of the whole transaction, that the prosti- 
tute is now under indictment, that Smyth was in- 
dicted at the polls on the 6th of November (in part 
because of his demeanor in this very prosecution), and 
Devery has been discharged from the Police Service 
for conduct unbecoming an officer. In view of all 
this, it is not very difficult to judge how much of 
Gardner's arrest and conviction was due to a fine 
moral enthusiasm, and how much of it was damnable 

If in the way in which the thing has just been pre- 
sented there is a tinge of bitterness, we can con- 
scientiously declare that that sentiment is not due to 
the fact of Gardner's arrest and conviction, but to the 
fact that, even granting Gardner's guilt, he was doing 
just that which Byrnes, Devery, and all their associ- 
ates knew the entire Police Department to be engaged 
in — levying blackmail — and that their stupendous 
and organized scheme to "down" Gardner was simply 
a sublime effort to bolster up official iniquity, and that 
their colossal laments over the " Fall of poor Gard- 
ner " were a clever, though sneaking device, for disguis- 
ing habitual and systematic corruption of their own. 

Gardner was not arrested by Mr. Byrnes and his 
subordinates because he was a criminal, but because 
he was our detective, and because he made it more 
difficult for Mr. Byrnes's department to act out its own 
remunerative depravity. We knew all this at the 


time ; subsequent developments have enabled the rest 
of community to know it. 

The blow dealt by Gardner's arrest was a shrewd 
one. Temporarily it discredited the Society for the 
Prevention of Crime in the public estimate. Our 
cause was not going to prevail until matters had 
reached that stage where temporary defeat on our 
part was not going to shake the town's confidence. 
That time came, but not till a little later. On the 5th 
of December the Society for the Prevention of Crime 
stock was very low and continued falling for months. 
Our citizens trusted us in seasons of good weather but 
not between times. 

One of the first effects of Gardner's arrest was that 
the Executive Committee came together and agreed 
to strengthen our detective force. Money it was 
hard to obtain, and members of the Society advanced 
the requisite funds. A good deal of our interest and 
attention was necessarily devoted for a time to Gard- 
ner's trial, but the purposes of the Executive Com- 
mittee were, under this adverse experience, toughened 
into more strenuous determination, and our transient 
adversity both put us upon defining more sharply our 
own lines of action and upon securing detectives suf- 
ficient in character, calibre, and number to prosecute 
those lines. In point of effectiveness we were in finer 
shape shortly subsequent to Gardner's arrest than we 
had ever been before. How much we owe to the 
vicious opposition of the enemy ! 


It will be impossible to go into the details of Gard- 
ner's trial, which opened on January 30, 1893. It was 
felt by all who had any appreciation of the situation, 
that the contesting parties who appeared in the suit 
were representatives simply, and that the real plaintiff 
and defendant were nothing less than the two great 
elements of our municipality that were striving for 
mastery, two great systems of administration that 
aimed at nothing less than each other's overthrow. It 
was not Gardner that we were trying to defend, nor 
was it Gardner that they were trying to convict. The 
sense of this intensified all proceedings, and explains 
much of the passionate interest with which the case 
was watched, and the passionate energy with which it 
was conducted. In that trial the Police Department, 
from the Commissioners down, was distinctly con- 
scious of its direct antagonism to that entire element 
in community which demanded an honest mainten- 
ance of honest laws and of the common weal. That 
consciousness explained the large and eager attend- 
ance of high police officials, and was distinctly mani- 
fested in the demeanor of Recorder Smyth, who sat 
on the Bench and who was known to be the close per- 
sonal friend of Superintendent Byrnes. One of the 
leaders of the New York Bar some days since stated 
that, in his opinion, it was Smyth's intention to have 
Gardner convicted. If this was the case, it only goes 
to show how much we had to contend with in trying 
to make head against a combination of Police, Demi 


Monde, and Judiciary. But what is quite as interesting 
is that this same member of the Bar just quoted, went 
on to remark that the Recorder's bearing on this 
occasion (such as his mode of dealing with the counsel 
for the defence, and his repeated prompting of the 
disreputable Clifton while on the witness stand) dis- 
turbed the confidence which the Bar had had in 
Recorder Smyth's judicial integrity, or at least their 
confidence in his judicial equipoise. In this way the 
Recorder's prodigal use of the power of his position 
(or what an observant public considered to be such) 
stands in intimate relation with the move which the 
City has just succeeded in making to throw him out 
of his position, and to put a better upon the Bench in 
his stead. 

And what is still more interesting is that the man 
by whom the city has just replaced Smyth is exactly 
the man against whom Smyth on this very occasion 
made special display of judicial and prejudicial power 
— John W. Goff. This is one of the most startling 
instances known to us of the revenges wrought by 
time. Mr. Goff fought valiantly and fearlessly in be- 
half of what he considered to be the rights of his 
client. Smyth took judicial offence at the bluntness 
of Mr. Goff's language, adjudged him in contempt and 
fined him $200 ; but a higher court than that of 
Smyth sat on the 6th of November last, which in- 
vited Mr. Smyth to step down and Mr. Goff to move 
up to his place. In behalf of the New York Bar, 


Joseph H. Choate, Esq., made a plea before the Re- 
corder in Mr. Goff' s interest, the distinguishing feature 
of which was that while there was nettle enough in it 
to sting the Recorder's nerves, the nettle was rubbed 
in with such polished courtesy that the poor victim 
had to behave as though he were being dosed with the 
Balm of Gilead. 

It is not pertinent to the main object of our story 
to dwell upon the matter of Mr. Gardner's conviction 
and sentence, his temporary confinement in the Tombs 
and subsequent release, the reversal of the Recorder's 
judgment, the carrying of the case to the Court of 
Appeals, and the final ordering of a new trial. It is 
enough for our purpose to have shown that his arrest 
and trial accomplished four most important and health- 
ful results : It brought about the reorganization and 
strengthening of our office ; it suggested to the com- 
munity, under startling colors, the organized combina- 
tion seeming to exist between the police, the prosti- 
tutes, and the Bench ; it prepared for the defeat of 
Recorder Smyth ; and last and best of all, it cordially 
introduced to the knowledge and confidence of this 
community, our coadjutor, John W. Goff. 



The Social Evil has played an important part in the 
history of our work, and far more important than it 
would have done had not the intent of the movement 
been, at the outset, quite generally misapprehended, 
and had not the Police Department utilized that mis- 
apprehension to the end of discrediting our efforts, 
and thereby breaking the force of our attack. Our 
reference to the matter here is not made with any in- 
tention of discussing the problem which it involves. 
We have steadily avoided being drawn into any argu- 
ment in reference to it, and that for two reasons ; first, 
our crusade was not a crusade against sexual vice 
or any other vice ; our warfare was only against the 
police considered as the salaried protectors of vice. 
And we have felt that for us to discuss the proper 
method of dealing with the Social Evil would be only 
to confuse the issue and to side-track the entire 
movement. If we commenced our crusade by the 
visitation of disorderly houses, it was only because 
that was the easiest means by which police indiffer- 


ence to blatant crime in this city could be brought to 
light and made public. 

The second reason why it is unwise for us or for 
anyone else to discuss just now the proper method of 
handling the Social Evil in this city, is that, as yet, the 
conditions here are not such as to make the discussion 
worth the breath that is expended upon it. The pres- 
ent extent of the evil is no measure of what it would 
be under normal conditions, and we cannot consider 
the question intelligently till normal conditions are 
reached. What we mean is this : that social vice has 
been so protected and encouraged by the filthy offi- 
cials who control the department, that the number of 
abandoned women and disorderly houses now existing 
in the city is no measure of what it would be if we had 
a police force, from top down, who conceived of sexual 
crime as an evil to be suppressed, not as capital to 
draw dividend from. I have had women of this class 
tell me in my own house that they did not belong here, 
but that they came here from outside because they 
knew that in New York the police would protect them. 
That fact is known all over. The police of this city 
have been enticing prostitutes from other cities and 
States to come to New York, in order that they might 
be the means of clothing their own wives and daughters 
and living in style, quadrupling in comfort and ele- 
gance anything they could maintain on their legiti- 
mate salaries. It will, therefore, be time to discuss 
the Social Evil when we have police officials whose am- 


bition it is to reduce, not extend, the number of prosti- 
tutes, and when that number, therefore, falls to its 
normal figure. 

The efforts we have made to demonstrate the crimi- 
nal negligence of the police have resulted indirectly in 
the raiding of a great many houses which it formed 
no part of our plan to disturb. And the brutality with 
which such raids have often been conducted has been 
steadily availed of by the police, and by our enemies 
outside of the force, to embarrass and discredit our 
work. But with all of the misunderstanding that was 
occasioned in this way, and purposely promoted, there 
is no room to doubt that an unprecedentedly large 
number of unfortunate women have, during the past 
two years, been brought to realize not only the pre- 
cariousness of their mode of life but its essential deg- 

There is in our city deep interest in this question, 
and I venture to introduce here a statement of the 
cases of three or four of the very large number of 
young women who have recently been led by the dis- 
turbed condition of affairs to abandon their disrepu- 
table life, and who have come to us for counsel and 
help. I have, for the past fourteen months, employed 
a young woman with special reference to working 
among this class of people, and the statements sub- 
joined are given largely in her words : 

" K. S • is an interesting case. She came from 

Cherry Street, where she had lived three years as an 


abandoned woman. She says she used often to wish she 
could get out of her life, but she had no place to go 
in the repentant moods, and then she would harden 
her heart again and make herself think she did not 
want to go. When the house in which she was living 
was raided, she was compelled to go. She sat on the 
doorstep of her former home, wondering what she 
was to do now that she had been forced into 
the street, when suddenly it came to her like a flash 
that perhaps this was for the best after all, and per- 
haps she could be good again, and turn from the old 
wicked life. She was taken in at the Mission at 
which she applied, and is happy there, and has 
already come forward desiring to be converted. 
She was one of the most sinful and degraded type. 
She told the Mission friends that she had drunk eight 
gallons of whiskey in three days, and she was very ill 
with delirium tremens on her arrival. But for the 
seeming misfortune which shut her off from her old 
means of gaining a livelihood, she would still be deep 
in her old life of sin and degradation." 

" L. L is another interesting girl, educated, gen- 
tle, and lady-like. She came from the South about six 
months ago with a man who had betrayed her. Af- 
ter a day or two in the city she entered a disrepu- 
table house. At the end of three or four weeks she 
was overcome with disgust at the life she was liv- 
ing, but, a stranger in the city, and without friends, 
she did not know what to do or where to go. 
She had been in the house six months when it 
was raided. She happened to be there at the 
time, and was arrested and sent to jail for ten days. 


While in the jail a missionary came to her, and the 
girl begged her to help her leave the old life. She 
was taken to one of the ' Homes,' and is now there. 
Nothing, she says, would induce her to return to the 
sinful life she has learned to detest. ' I thank Dr. 
Parkhurst from the bottom of my heart,' she said." 

" M. T was well educated and had money 

enough at home, but was betrayed while visiting a 
friend. After that her downfall was rapid. She began 
to drink and drank heavily, and went rapidly from 
bad to worse until she was finally found in a saloon, 
after one of the recent raids, half-desperate, half-re- 
pentant, and a hand was held out to her just in time. 
She said that she had been turned out of her house 
into the streets, and though she hated those who had 
done her this apparent injury, it had made her, for the 
first time in a long while, think what she was doing, 
and she began to long for a different life. She, too, 
has been provided for, and is being watched by inter- 
ested friends who desire to help her." 

Our missionary says there is a general sense of in- 
jury among the girls who are turned out, but it is be- 
cause they misunderstand the motives of the whole 
movement. They say, " It is all very well to close 
the houses, but to turn us out into the streets, home- 
less and penniless, is terrible." They do not know 
that Dr. Parkhurst will provide for all who desire to 
leave the old life, and that they can obtain food and 
shelter simply by asking for it. When this is explained 
to them they say, " Oh, that's different." The police- 


men turn them against the Doctor. All the girls in 
the Homes are doing well, and all say that but for the 
trouble which drove them into the street they would 
never have been able to cut loose from the old life. 
Two girls said to our missionary, "Well, I would never 
have left it myself, for what else was there for me to 
do ? " Some of the girls are surprisingly well educated 
and gentle in their manner, though the life is so terri- 
bly degrading it soon kills their better side. It is a 
curious fact that not one passes under her own name, 
the name of her father and mother, but assumes a 
name as soon as she enters the life." 

Another lady having a large experience with this 
class of women says : 

" There are more ' rounders ' (the homeless creatures 
who have wandered for years in the streets) that have 
beds this winter than ever before, and more meals 
given them. In all my long experience in the work, 
I have never known such efforts to be put forth by 
Christian people as this winter. Dr. Parkhurst and 
his glorious work has stirred everybody up. If he 
has done nothing else, he has waked up the Christian 
Churches. It is making the girls stop to think, and 
it has certainly given vice a severe set-back. It is no 
longer open and daring.' ' 

" B, H had lived a fast life for the past six years, 

a drunkard and a fallen girl. She lived at one time 
with Mrs. , of — Delancey Street. She would 


gladly have left her sinful life long ago, but lacked 
courage to come out from her old companions. Four 
weeks ago the house was closed, but after a week she 
returned to the house and was taken in again, and for 
a week led the same life. Two weeks ago, Sunday 
night. Captain Cortright came and closed the place 
again. She then thought of her former days when 
she was a pure girl, and resolved to do right. De- 
cember 24th she came to the Florence Mission, and 
since then has showed every sign of being a changed 
girl. Her heart goes out in gratitude that God allowed 
her to be thrown out of her old life, and that He has 
saved her from a drunkard's grave." 

" A. B , when first turned out of her old life, was 

directed to Dr. Parkhurst by a saloon-keeper, who 
told her that he had already sent one girl there, and 
that she had been placed in a ' Home.' On first leaving 
the house where she had been staying, she told a man 
whom she met on the street that she was going to Dr. 
Parkhurst. He told her that she was a fool to go, 
that Dr. Parkhurst sent all the girls that applied to 
him to the Island for four months. So she did nothing 
till she met the saloon-keeper, who urged her to go, 
and assured her that Dr. Parkhurst did help the girls 
who came to him anxious to lead a new life, and that 
she could be sure of a welcome from him." 

It has been something of a trial to know that at the 
very time we were trying to provide food and homes 
for the girls that the police were throwing out into 
the street, the Police Commissioners or their pals were 


trying to make it appear that \vc were responsible for 
police brutality, and that the object of our movement 
was to occasion the poor girls the largest possible an- 
noyance and privation. The mistake the police finally 
made was in overdoing the matter, and this occurred, 
particularly in the "Tenderloin," early in December of 
1893. In the midst of a bitter cold night, the police 
went through the district making general havoc, driv- 
ing the girls out into the snow, and with a vicious 
malignity, in which they are experts, gave the terror- 
stricken victims to understand that this was all of it 
the doings of " Old Parkhurst." Indeed the girls were 
allowed to understand that the raiding was being done 
by detectives of our own Society. 

My house was literally besieged with the poor, hun- 
gry unfortunates who came, a part of them to get 
food from me, and a still larger part to damn me. 
People are even yet sometimes expressing surprise 
that I have so little admiration and respect for our 
police force ! I believe that from top down, with 
some splendid exceptions, they are the dirtiest, crook- 
edest, and ugliest lot of men ever combined in semi- 
military array outside of Japan and Turkey. 

The " Tenderloin " business, however, was over- 
(1"U', and wrought its own fine reaction. It soon be- 
came noised abroad that we had not had a detective in 
the " Tenderloin " precinct for months, and the curses 
began gradually to roll off from our shoulders onto 
those of the blue-coated brutes to which they belonged ; 


and it then, for the first time, began to be under- 
stood throughout the ranks of the unfortunate wom- 
en that it was the poHce that were persecuting the 
women, and that what we were in pursuit of was the 

I sent out the following letter, which, by the cour- 
tesy of the press, was printed in the morning journals 
of December 9th : 

To the Editor of . 

Sir : It having come to my knowledge that a con- 
siderable number of women have, by the action of the 
police, been suddenly thrown out upon the streets, 
may I avail myself of the courtesy of your columns to 
say that I shall gladly render all needed assistance to 
any of them who may desire to abandon their old ways 
and return to a life that is pure and womanly. We are 
sorry to have anyone suffer, and yet, of course, our 
offer can be made only to such as have a purpose of 
forsaking their criminal relations, and this offer we 
cordially and affectionately extend, not only to those 
who have been recently evicted, but to any women 
anywhere in the town who are at present living in 
houses of the description of those just closed, but who 
are anxious to change their condition, and to adopt a 
mode of life that is honorable and self-respecting. We 
are gratified that our motives as a Society are, in this 
respect, becoming better understood, and while, of 
course, we shall go on with increased steadfastness in 
our work of making it difficult for the police to hold 
over these women a hand of criminal protection, we 
shall be just as constant in our efforts to afford Chris- 


tian protection from hunger and exposure to any who 
m:iy desire to enter the ways of virtue and lionorable 

(Signed) C. H. Parkhurst, 

President of the Society for the 
Prevention of Crime. 

.V public appeal was also made for money, and 
handsomely responded to. The raiding went on in 
that same wild way which regularly characterizes the 
action of the police, when there is any action, and the 
girls came to our house in droves. The various 
"Homes" of the city opened their doors promptly 
and hospitably, and no one was allowed to suffer who 
showed any desire to meet us frankly, and to return to 
a life of purity and womanliness. 

The results of this can be seen in a large number of 
voung women, some of them still resident here, others 
returned to their homes in the country, one even 
studying to be a missionary, who are now living 
honorable lives, and who, with purified and grateful 
hearts are honoring God and blessing mankind, la- 
menting the past, but making it an incentive to watch- 
fulness in the present and womanly effort for the 

This whole event, interesting as it may be as a 
chapter in the moral history of the city, specially con- 
cerns us here only because of its effect in helping our 
criminal and distressed classes to understand the 
spirit of our movement ; it enabled them to come at 


the fact from a new stand-point, that not ourselves, but 
the Tammany police were their real persecutors, and 
so was one of the influences contributing to the suc- 
cessful effort at emancipation made by them on the 
6th of last Novemben 



Superintendent, Inspectors, Captains and Com- 
missioners had been expecting that the "storm would 
blow over." On the contrary, there were growing 
signs of the storm's becoming chronic, and it appears 
to have been thought that some stalwart move must 
be vigorously made looking to the clearing of the air, 
and that some summary blow must be dealt that would 
abruptly silence and crush out the Society for the Pre- 
vention of Crime and its following. 

Two blows were delivered in quick succession, both 
of them with the design of crippling the Society, in the 
one instance by discrediting the Society's detective, 
Gardner, in the other by discrediting the Society's 

Detective Gardner was arrested oa December 4, 
1892. Byrnes undertook to crush me oa December 
6th. He used Devery and a prostitute to pulverize 
Gardner, and the reporters to blacken me. Reference 
is made to this matter of the Byrnes correspondence, 
in the first place, for the reason that it forms an im- 
portant chapter in the history of the three years ; and 


again for the reason that it will give community an 
opportunity to acquaint itself afresh with the qual- 
ity and genius of the unique personality under whose 
supervision our police force has reached its present 
phenomenal stage of development, and under whose 
supervision, if the v/ill of his accomplices and admirers 
could be done, that same police force would secure its 
reorganization. According to the reports printed at 
the time, Mr. Pjyrnes seems to have pondered his ver- 
bal assault upon me with considerable deliberation, 
and to have called the representatives together at his 
office in order that his challenge might be both widely 
and correctly published. The matter of it appeared in 
the morning papers of December yth. As reported in 
the Herald of that date, it reads as follows : 

" ' No quarter for Parkhurst.' So in substance 
said Superintendent Byrnes at ten o'clock last night, 
when, in his private office at Police Headquarters, he 
launched a thunder-bolt by which he hopes to crush 
the ministerial crusader." 

" ' Now, gentlemen,' said he, ' I had intended to 
issue to-night a full and complete statement of 
facts in reply to statements made in a general way 
against the Police Department of this city by the 
Rev. Dr. Parkhurst. I find, however, that to com- 
plete the statement to-night will be impossible. It 
will be ready for you probably to-morrow. 

" 'I have, however, this to say at once for publica- 
tion. Never before have I criticised Dr. Parkhurst. 


but now I flatly challenge his motives, and declare that 
he makes statements against the Department I repre- 
sent, without evidence to support them and without 
belief in them himself. 

" ' This so-called crusade of the Doctor, I am now 
prepared to state, was started by him and several well- 
known members of his congregation, with motives of 
revenge against this Department bred by a policeman's 
refusal to testify to suit them in a certain divorce 
suit. That suit was brought by a young member of 
Dr. Parkhurst's church against her husband. The 
Doctor and several influential parishioners rallied 
around her, and because the policeman refused to 
testify to order, they invented this alleged crusade. 

" ' The divorce was finally secured, and then promptly 
followed the Doctor's historic call on Hattie Adams. 
Masked though it was, that was the beginning of the 
attack by Parkhurst and his church followers upon the 
Police Department. Now, gentlemen, I come to the 
gist of the whole business,' and the Superintendent 
paused for an instant as though to freshly consider 
the important statements to follow. 

" ' Reluctantly I say this much. I have letters in my 
possession showing conclusively that Parkhurst and 
certain members of his church are banded together to 
secure evidence compromising to the highest officials 
in this city. 

" 'These letters further show that Parkhurst and his 
associates resort to means that seem most dishonor- 


able to accomplish this purpose. By intrigues with 
women, their paid stool-pigeons, they seek to com- 
promise the Chief Magistrate of the city, our prose- 
cuting officer, a number of judges, and prominent 
municipal officials. Their names appear in the letters 
now in my possession, copies of which I have had pre- 
pared for use in the complete statement I am prepar- 
ing for publication.' 

" The Superintendent paused for breath and then 
went to work again on his ministerial foe : 

" ' These letters,' said he, ' will show the instruc- 
tions left by Parkhurst when he went abroad — in- 
structions left to be carried out by his co-workers 
during his absence in Europe. They are written for 
the most part by the mother of the woman whose di- 
vorce suit caused all the trouble, and detail the in- 
trigues of the band up to within a few days of the 
present time. 

" ' No, no,' hastily replied the Superintendent in re- 
sponse to a request for the woman's name, 'I'll not 
tell you. Parkhurst can. Ask him. Her daughter 
secured the divorce about nine months ago, and the 
mother — Parkhurst's most scheming assistant and 
personal friend — is away up socially, I can tell you. 

" ' Every letter is to a person with whom an inter- 
view was had. In these interviews public men were 
named, as I am prepared to prove, as victims for some 
compromising intrigue to be worked by a woman.' 

" Closing the rolling top of his desk with a bang, the 

OUR FKillT Wrril TAMMANY 169 

SupcrintcndcMit rose from his chair with the abrupt 
announcement : 

" ' There, gentlemen, that is all for to-night. Ask 
all the questions you care to, but expect no further in- 
formation until I am ready to make public the com- 
plete statement.' 

" The questions were plied ttiick and fast upon the 
doughty 'Chief,' who coolly slipped into his overcoat 
and stepped to the door with a pleasant * Good-night.' 
Not a name would he give or an additional particular, 
but as his hand touched the door-knob he turned on 
his questioners. 

" ' Well, boys,' said he, * I will tell you one thing 
more to show the contemptible character of this man 
Parkhurst. After the arrest of Hattie Adams, and 
while her trial was pending, Parkhurst asked this let- 
ter-writing mother of a divorced daughter to get him 
some of the most abominable French pictures that 
are fugitive in this market. His friend and co-laborer 
readily consented, and with another woman secured 
the beastly prints and took them in great glee to her 
pastor. Parkhurst's object in securing them was to 
offer them as pictorial evidence of the scenes he had 
witnessed in the Adams house. 

"'When, however, his faithful parishioner delivered 
them, the wily Doctor hesitated. 

"'Suppose,' said he, 'that some inquisitive juror 
asks me how the pictures came in my possession ? That 
would be embarrassing. To obviate anything of that 


kind, please take the prints away with you and send 
them to me by mail in an envelope. Purely anony- 
mous, see ? Then, ladies, I can conscientiously swear 
that they were sent to me by some one entirely un- 

" ' It was done. Now, that gives you an idea of 
Parkhurst's high character.' " 

I submitted my reply to the reporters the same 
evening, which was as follows : 

" There came to my notice this morning a state- 
ment purporting to have emanated from Superintend- 
ent Byrnes touching the animus and method of the 
work in which I have been engaged during the past 
ten months. The statement, presumably authentic, 
is an attempt on his part to extricate himself from an 
awkward position by trying to put me in another 
awkward position of a similar character. He is try- 
ing to blacken me as a means of whitewashing himself 
and his Department. 

" Now, for the sake of argument, I am going, for 
the instant, to plead guilty to his entire indictment, 
I am going to assume that my motives have been vil- 
lainous from the start ; that, as he intimates, I have 
been actuated now for almost a year by a sheer spirit 
of revenge ; that something transpiring in a certain 
'divorce case' so embittered me that I have been 
spending all these months in the attempt to square 
myself with the Department. 

''Well, supposing all that is true, what of it ? How 


does Ihat help Air. Byrnes any ? Docs that fact close 
up any of the gambUng-houses that he is allowing to 
run? Suppose I have been dealing in 'French pict- 
ures' and that I had all my pockets full of them 
wlien I went into the court-room on a special occa- 
sion, what of it ? Does that fact suppress any of the 
vile dens of infamy in this city which exist because 
Mr.- Byrnes and his Department are viciously neglect- 
ful of their duty ? 

" Supposing I have availed of members of my con- 
gregation, availed of all of them, and put them upon 
the track of city officials, set them studying up the 
unwholesome record of any who are to-day in posi- 
tions of municipal authority, and arranged with ail 
my elders, deacons, and deaconesses to discover the 
facts as to the domestic life of the Police Commission- 
ers, police magistrates, and police captains, what of it? 
How does that help Mr. Byrnes ? In what way does 
the fact of such an arrangement operate to neutralize 
that other fact of the recognized existence in this city 
of institutions for the practice of unnatural vices ? 

" Mr. Byrnes is trying to shift the issue from his 
shoulders to mine. He is in a hard place and he is 
tired ! He thinks that by showing the community 
what I am doing he will make the community forget 
what he isn't doing. It is shrewdly designed, but too 
transparent to prove a success. 

"To touch now two or three specific points in Mr. 
Byrnes's letter. A picture was in my pocket on the 


morning of the Andrea trial which I was planning to 
show the jury in case it seemed that it should be more 
effective than oral description. When the time came I 
judged that oral evidence would do the work best and 
the picture was withheld. 

" As to availing myself of detectives to shadow some 
of our city officials during the summer while I was 
away, that was done, and well done. It was done in 
the e.xercise of a distinct right which I have, not as 
President of the Society for the Prevention of Crime 
simply, but in the right which I have as a citizen. 
We have gone quite too long without watching our 
city officials, and that is part of the difficulties we are 
suffering under to-day. If the exigency arrives again, 
I shall put detectives on the track of the officials again, 
and if I think circumstances are such as require it I 
shall put a detective on Mr. Byrnes. If he is doing 
right it won't hurt him. If he isn't doing right he 
ought not to object if it does hurt him. Mr. Byrnes is 
one of our municipal servants. I am helping to pay 
his salary. 

" His opposition to having our public officials watched 
has a bad look. I have been shadowed off and on for 
the last nine months. 

*' Touching the matter of the ' divorce case ' and its 
relations to the work of my Society during the past 
year, Mr. Byrnes says, 'His attack originated in a di- 
vorce case about nine months ago.' That statement 
is totally and unredeemably false to the last dot. It 


was not even the occasion of my attack. It was not 
even an incident of my attack. It had nothing to do 
with it in any way, shape, or manner. Mr. Byrnes 
continues: 'Dr. Parkhurst was interested in the case. 
They wanted a police officer to testify to certain facts 
which he could not conscientiously swear to and he re- 
fused. Dr. Parkhurst showed his anger at that time.' 
I have not the slightest recollection of any such event, 
and so far from the refusal of a policeman to perjure 
himself exciting my anger, it would only have e.xcited 
in me devout thanksgiving. 

"Mr. Byrnes says, 'I do not believe Dr. Parkhurst 
is sincere in his talk.' I am not going to attempt to 
prove my sincerity. I know what the public sentiment 
is on that point. There are many people in the com- 
munity who question the wisdom of my methods, but 
I dare to say that the community does not question 
my sincerity. Mr. Byrnes knows that I am sincere, 
and if he stands in any attitude of enmity toward me 
that is the reason of it. 

"There remains one charge in Mr. Byrnes's indict- 
ment that I cannot dismiss cpiite so summarily. He 
says that I ' have continued to make accusations with- 
out evidence.' The colossal impudence of that accu- 
sation is well-nigh paralyzing. Permit me to address 
half a dozen sentences to the Superintendent directly : 
Mr. Byrnes, are you familiar with the terms of Section 
282 of the Act of Consolidation ? Are you knowing to 
the fact that that section makes it obligatory upon you 


and your Department to make yourselves acquainted 
with all places in this city where gambling is being 
carried on and disorderly houses maintained, and ' to 
repress and restrain all unlawful or disorderly conduct 
or practices therein, to enforce and prevent the viola- 
tion of all laws and ordinances in force in said city?' 

" Now, Mr. Byrnes, what have I and my Society 
been doing all these ten months from the time when 
I presented those affidavits fromx the pulpit of my 
church, but piling up before the community the proofs 
of the persistent neglect of your Department to dis- 
charge the duties the above section makes obligatory 
upon you ? What is the meaning of the existence of 
such a Society as that for the Prevention of Crime 
or for the Suppression of Vice if it is not that the 
police fail just at the point where their services 
ought to be rendered ? 

" Every disorderly house that we have pulled, and 
that you ought to have pulled, every gambling-house 
that we have frightened into closing its doors, and 
whose doors, sir, you yourself were the proper person 
to have closed, is a standing indictment against you 
and against the integrity and efficiency of the police 

" I have seen it stated within a few days that you 
have said that Dr. Parkhurst has never been to see 
you to get your help ; that you were in a condition to 
render me a good deal of service, but that I have 
never sought your assistance. Sought your assistance ! 


Why, Mr, Byrnes, do you not know that it is the crim- 
inal neglect of your Department which is the one thing 
we are fighting ? You can help us to close brothels, 
no doubt, but that is not what we are trying to do. 
We are trying to make it so hot for you that you will 
close them yourself. We are not trying to suppress 
gambling, nor trying to suppress the social evil. We 
are trying to suppress your own criminal neglect of 
the duties which the above-quoted section devolves 
upon you and upon every member of your depart- 

" Permit me, Mr. Byrnes, to bid you remember that 
the presentment of the March Grand Jury of 1892 
still hangs over your department very much in the 
nature of an indictment. Don't attempt, sir, to trans- 
fer the burden of the situation from your shoulders to 
mine. I make no claim to superior merit. However 
many vices I may have, conceit is not one of them, 
but I do say that I am standing with all my might, and 
the might of my Society, for the honest execution of 
wholesome laws in this city, and, strong in that con- 
sciousness and fresh from the reading of pitiful com- 
plaints, this whole island over, of fathers, mothers, and 
sisters, who are pouring in upon me their appeals for 
protection against the blatant iniquity that prevails in 
our streets, it makes my blood boil, sir, to see you 
bringing to bear upon me, for the purposes of dis- 
credit, that machinery of your department which, as a 
man and an officer, it is your prerogative as well as 


your obligation to make effective to the aid of the 
tempted and the relief of the distressed. 

" The issue between us now is definite, and yet the 
issue is not between you and me. It is between two 
classes in the community, of which you and I happen 
just now to be the representatives. It is an issue be- 
tween criminal rule on the one side and honest rule on 
the other. It is a battle between purity and lechery. 
It is a fight between true citizens who pay honest 
money for the administration of municipal government, 
and the criminals in and out of office to whom govern- 
ment means nothing but opportunity to feed and fat- 
ten on the common treasury and the general life. It 
is well now that lines have been sharply drawn. It 
simplifies the struggle and Vv-ill hasten the issue." 

The community understands now, as it did not then, 
the unspeakable greediness and almost unmentionable 
vileness of which Mr. Byrnes was the executive head. 
He was acquainted with the character of the police 
force at that time, or he was not acquainted with it. If 
he was not acquainted with it he stands thereby con- 
victed of base negligence or of colossal incompetence. 
If he was acquainted with it, his assault upon our ef- 
forts to improve the force was sneaking, vicious and 



Detective Gardner had been convicted early in 
February. It was a hard blow for us, but we succeeded 
in continuing cheerful. Our work for some months 
was conducted with considerable quietness. Byrnes 
doubtless imagined that his two blows dealt in quick 
succession had confused our purposes and paralyzed 
our hopes. We made almost no overt movement that 
would tend to excite his suspicion that anything of an 
aggressive nature was being contemplated by us. We 
worked, however, industriously but on the quiet. 

Our experiences of twelve months (for (lardnerwas 
convicted just a year after the delivery of my first ser- 
mon), had given us a fairly clear understanding of the 
field and of the temper of our enemy. We never for 
one moment entertained the thought of abandoning 
the enterprise or of compromising with them. Several 
overtures were made us through intermediaries, look- 
ing to a cessation of hostilities and to an alliance with 
the police, all of which were promptly and unequivo- 
cally declined and resented ; and it may as well be 
said at this point that whatever contribution the 



Society for the Prevention of Crime made to the recent 
overthrow of Tammany Hall, it made by virtue of its 
refusal to stand toward Byrnes or any of his superi- 
ors or subordinates in any other relation than that 
of sworn enemy. 

In those quiet weeks and months, however, there 
was being a good deal done. We gathered together a 
force of detectives of whose work the Society may well 
be proud. In only one instance, I believe, did we err 
in our man, and even in his case the treason to our in- 
terests was distinctly due to his having been tampered 
with at Police Headquarters, as is proved by his 
affidavit, which we hold in our possession. If these 
lines should happen to fall under the eye of Inspector 
Williams, his cultivated perspicacity will doubtless be 
able to penetrate our allusion. The public will find, 
in this reference, another indication of the difficulties 
against which we had to contend, and of the concealed 
pit-falls into which we were constantly liable to tumble. 

With our office thus interiorly strengthened and 
compacted, we laid out a scheme of long, detailed, and 
careful work. We were in no haste. Our principle 
was that what was worth working for at all was worth 
working for a good while. The Executive Committee 
agreed that our next step must be to make a solid case 
of malfeasance against a police captain. Before fix- 
ing upon a candidate for our Society's attention, we 
devoted a considerable period of investigation to the 
condition and workings of a number of precincts that 


had been reported to us as exceptionally bad, and fixed 
finally upon the Eleventh, Captain Devery's, as being 
the one where there was not only as much tolerated, 
not to say protected crime, as in any other, but as be- 
ing the precinct where, as it appeared to our detectives, 
gambling and disorderly resorts were being conducted 
with a more shameless and blatant openness than in 
any other. Besides this, the Eleventh Precinct has 
the reputation of being one whose market value was 
quite as high as that of any other, which was under- 
stood to mean that Captain Devery had to pay roundly 
for his precinct, and that his criminal business had 
consequently to be stimulated so that it could pay 
roundly for his reimbursement. 

For a number of weeks, then, our work was limited 
to the Eleventh Precinct, which is situated on the East 
and lower side of the town, and bounded by Houston, 
Clinton, Rivington, Norfolk, and Division Streets, and 
the Bowery. 

We had kept careful record of all letters of com- 
plaint written us respecting criminal resorts in that 
and other precincts, and had received, besides, occa- 
sional assistance from residents in that quarter of the 
town, whose indignation overcame their fears, and 
made them willing to run the risk of allying themselves 
with our cause. As a rule, however, the reign of ter- 
ror was so ruthlessly maintained by the police, that 
until recently little information has reached us except 
of an anonymous kind. 


Starting out with the lines thus furnished, our de- 
tectives made themselves, in a detailed way, master of 
a portion of Devery's precinct, and before the close of 
May had secured sixty-four solid cases — considered 
such by the legal members of the executive com- 
mittee — against gambling and disorderly houses. We 
then prepared letters of complaint addressed to the 
Mayor, the Police Commissioners, the Superintendent 
of Police, and the public, respectively; submitting 
copies of the same to the press for general publica- 
tion. These letters were prepared before my depart- 
ure for Europe in June of that year, but, for reasons 
not requiring to be stated here, were not transmitted 
to the city ofificials nor given to the press till the 
loth of August following. 

The statement addressed to the general public was 
as follows : — 

" It has been stated by some, with whom the wish 
is, doubtless, parent to the thought, that the Society 
for the Prevention of Crime is an extinct institution. 
The present opportunity is availed of to say that at 
no time in its history has the Society been so full of 
purpose, or so thoroughly organized for work as at this 
date. Those most interested in its Avelfare are not 
men that are easily discouraged, or that are swerved 
from the line of their intention by any devices that 
may be played off upon them, or by any obstructions 
that may be placed upon the track by those against 
whom their efforts are directed. 


" Notliing has occurred during the year to invahdate 
the statement of the March (Irand Jury of 1892, to the 
effect that the Police Department is either incom- 
petent or criminal, and that it is not incompetent. 
Not only has that charge not been invalidated this 
year, but much has occurred to corroliorate it. Hav- 
ing been so situated as to know what was being done 
by ofificials who are paid once by the city for enforc- 
ing the laws, and paid again, unless all signs fail, by 
gamblers, strumpets, and violators of excise, for not 
enforcing them, it has been exceedingly interesting 
to observe how steadily the enforcement of law has 
fluctuated witli the fluctuations of interest shown 
in the matter by community. Certain police captains 
will understand perfectly what is meant when I say 
that any movement on the part of well-intentioned 
citizens, or any suspicion of such a movement, is to 
the Police Department certain signal that it is time to 
make another "raid." To those who have been so 
circumstanced as to know what has been going on out 
of sight, the systematic and pretty successful efforts 
that have been made during the last twelve months 
to pull wool over the eyes of the unsophisticated, have 
been so transparent in their farcical character as to 
convert the demeanor of the Department into a sort 
of chronic comedy. For a number of months now, so 
far as any overt action on the part of the community 
or of our Society is concerned, the police have been 
left to their own gains and devices, and it has been 


a long time since crime, in certain portions of the 
city, has been so unbridled as it is to-day. 

'* Our investigation as a society has been for some 
weeks devoted, to a considerable extent, to the 
Eleventh Precinct. This is the district in which the 
dignity of the law is supposed to be maintained, and 
crime made perilous, by the salaried ministration of 
Captain William S. Devery. The statutes determining 
his obligations are exphcit. And it is impossible to 
suppose that he does not appreciate within certain 
limits the serious responsibility of his position ; but if 
he has any such appreciation it is equally impossible 
to understand how he can traverse the streets of his 
diocese with an erect head, or with any remaining 
traces of self-respect, knowing, as he is bound to 
know, and as he is criminally negligent if he does not 
know, the reeking mass of moral filth which he is 
maintaining there. I know the larger number of dis- 
orderly houses that are located there, and their street 
addresses, and the number of vile women that ply 
their trade in each, and the confidence that these 
women have that they will not be interfered with by 
the Captain or his subordinates or superiors, if they 
continue to maintain their own part of the contract 
with the powers that be. 

The same also I am able to state in reference to the 
gambling evil in the same precinct. From the street 
I have looked directly into some of Devery 's gambling 
saloons, that were in full blast and running with wide 


open doors. Even tlie paraphernalia of the art were 
in full and easy view, with no more attempt at con- 
cealment than if it had been a drygoods store or a 
butcher shop. That being the case, if Devery says he 
is trying to clean out gambling from his precinct, he 
lies. Police captains of that complexion are nothing 
more nor less than crime-breeders. How long is it 
going to be before the earnest integrity of this city 
will take hold of this organized system of damnation 
and root it out ? Twenty churches cannot unmake 
crime as fast as official complicity in the Eleventh 
Precinct is making it. 

" Only let it be said, by the way, that Davery could 
not maintain this protective attitude toward crime 
were it not for the backing which he gets from the 
superior authorities to which he is amenable. He is 
simply one factor in a colossal organization of crime 
by which our unhappy city is despotized. The pre- 
cinct of which we have been speaking swarms with 
boys and girls, and is a superb fitting school for adult 
depravity ; it is a sort of devil's seminary, in which 
the vicious negligence of Devery constitutes him a 
kind of first trustee. I have received a score of let- 
ters from that quarter of the town, written by parents 
who have implored me to do something that should 
make the police close up those houses in order that 
their children on their way to and from school, might 
not be polluted by the filthy sights that abound in 
some portions of Devery's precinct. ' We have been 

1 84 OUR FIGHT wrnr tammanv 

to the captain,' they sa}', ' but that never does any 

" Devery need not be moved to expressions of re- 
sentment or profanity by these accusations. We have 
got the facts down in black and white, and reduced 
to affidavits. Little children toddle around the doors 
and windows from which free advertisements of lust 
are constantly and boldly made. There is a long row 
of such houses in Bayard Street, for instance, standing 
side by side. Devery knows where they are. Byrnes 
has them on his list at headquarters. It was only last 
week that I passed them and was solicited from every 
one of them. Parents all through such portions of 
the town are crying out against the foul tyranny that 
binds their children to the discipline of this loathsome 
tuition. Mr. Byrnes has daughters. What sort of 
creatures might we have expected them to become if 
they had been obliged to grow up within the foul en- 
vironment that the head of our Police Department 
makes a necessary part of the training of the children 
that grow up in Eldridge, Forsyth, Delancey, and East 
Houston Streets ? 

" And what shall we say of the intimation if the 
March Grand Jury of 1892 is valid, that all this official 
nursing of gambling and licentiousness is for the sake 
of the money they can make out of it for themselves 
and Tammany ? Honesty converted into dollars ; 
female virtue into corner lots ; and the most splendid 
city in our country governed by a pack of freebooters 

OUR ii(;nr wrni tammany 185 

who pillage the city of the best that makes it worth 
o-overning — that is why it is difficult to break up these 
evils. They are not primarily due to the viciousuess 
of the Police Department ; that Department is simply 
one of the many tentacles by means of which, what- 
ever lucrative commodity is afloat in the air, is drawn 
into Tammany's capacious maw. Gambling and li- 
centiousness are among the springs of her supply, 
because gambling and licentiousness are willing to 
pay for being protected. 

" Saloon-keepers pay for not being disturbed on 
Sundays. Some arrests have to be made in order to 
keep up appearances. The rule is that there shall be 
sixty-seven a Sunday. The variation from that figure, 
up or down, has been slight since last February. A 
barkeeper said a few days ago : ' It will be my turn to 
be arrested pretty soon. I was to have been hauled 
up this week, but the boss arranged to have it put off 
for a couple of months.' Perhaps that makes it easy 
to understand why it was that Tammany last winter 
killed the bill that proposed to give saloon-keepers a 
wet Sunday. It would have cut off just so much op- 
portunity for blackmail. It is for that reason that we 
need not fear that Tammany will pass a law for 
licensing gambling or prostitution. 

" There is no end to this matter. People, however, 
are getting their eyes open. Tammany does not e.K- 
pect that her opportunities are going to be prolonged 
indefinitely. When the explosion comes, it will be 


found that those who have been most deeply impli- 
cated have made arrangements by which they can con- 
veniently run to cover. If citizens would tell all they 
know, short work could be made of it. Their hearts 
are brave, but their property interests are cowardly. 

" There are parts of the town where young rowdies 
terrorize the street. The policeman says to you : * I 
can't catch them.' It is an impressive sight to see 
policemen march on Decoration Day ; but, after all, 
the most impressive thing they can do is to make 
crime dangerous. I can tell you where you can stand 
at certain hours of the day and see trained boys empty 
the pockets of the unwary. You need not go to 
Dickens in order to find a Fagin. Crime is not con- 
sidered crime in this town unless it declines to be 
assessed, and the consequence is that young criminals 
are growing up among us, rank and thrifty. We have 
not studied this thing for the last eighteen months for 
nothing. Still we have no fear for the future. How 
long it will take to get there depends upon how many 
men there are that are willing to invest themselves 
and their names in the work of rendering present con- 
ditions disreputable, and therefore impossible." 

The letters addressed to the Mayor, Superintendent 
Byrnes, and to Captain Devery were of a formal char- 
acter, quoting from the Consolidation Act the duties 
and the powers of the police force, and specifying by 
street and number the resorts complained of in the 
Eleventh Precinct. 


The letter to President Martin of the Board of 
Police Commissioners was as follows : 

" The Board of Commissioners constitutes the de- 
termining power of the Police Department. It is upon 
you and your colleagues, therefore, that in the last 
analysis responsibility for the non-enforcement of law 
must always be conceded to rest. In view of this 
factj we hereby transmit to you copies of communica- 
tions which have to-day been sent to Thomas F. Gil- 
roy, Mayor ; to Thomas Byrnes, Superintendent of the 
force ; and to William S. Devery, Captain of the 
Eleventh Precinct, calling upon you to exercise your 
proper authority in the matter, and to exert upon the 
force the pressure needed to secure the reasonable 
action asked for by the undersigned. 

" The obligations of the Department are authorita- 
tively and explicitly stated. While no one is so san- 
guine as to expect the complete rooting out of the 
gambling or of the social evil, we none of us have a 
right to expect that these evils will be played with by 
the Department. The law makes it your distinct 
duty to utilize the Department's power in repressing 
and preventing crime. No option is accorded you as 
to what classes of crime you shall repress and what 
not. The Department is executive, not legislative. 
The propriety of existing statutes relative to gam- 
bling and disorderly houses you may, as men, have an 
opinion upon, but not as commissioners. Your func- 
tion is to act, not to philosophize. In the matter of 


action, it becomes immediately evident from the list 
of gambling-houses and houses of ill-fame herewith 
furnished that either you or your subordinates have 
been delinquent. 

** The opinion has become current that such inaction 
is due to mercenary motives. The presentment of 
the March Grand Jury of 1892 indicated as much. 
However that may be, the suspicion that such charge 
is a valid one will not be eradicated from the pub- 
lic mind till the obligations devolving upon the 
Department are met with earnestness and thorough- 
ness, of which the accompanying voluminous schedule 
gives not the slightest intimation. We expect, there- 
fore, that you will give this matter your early atten- 
tion, and that you will apply the force requisite to 
the closing of the places of which you are hereby 



Had we not understood quite well the animus of 
our police officers and commissioners, we should have 
been surprised at the evident irritation produced by 
our letters complaining of the condition of things in 
the Eleventh Precinct. If they had had a tithe of the 
anxiety to enforce the law which they professed to 
have, Martin, Sheehan, McClave, Byrnes, Williams, and 
Devery would have come up to our office on Twenty- 
second Street, to thank us with mellow and overflowing 
hearts for the valuable and detailed bits of criminal in- 
formation which we had gratuitously furnished them. 
Notwithstanding all the efforts we have made during 
the past three years to help the Police Department earn 
its annual salary of $5,000,000, I do not recall a single 
instance in which an inexpensive return of thanks has 
been made to us by a police officer, or a cheap resolu- 
tion of confidence in us voted by the Board of Police 

The Commissioners met on the 17th of August, and 
Major Kipp was about to read our communication, when 
Mr. McClave inquired whether anything was to be 


gained by reading a letter that had appeared in the 
newspapers. " Certainly not," said President Martin. 
"I think," rejoined McClave, "that it is not worth 
while to waste time in reading it ; I move that it be 
referred to the Superintendent for consideration and 

The letter so referred was reported upon at the 
Board meeting one week later, at which time the of- 
ficial statement was received, accepted, and filed ; but 
although the Superintendent, the Inspector, Captain, 
and a number of patrolmen in citizen's clothes had 
been scouring the Eleventh Precinct, each with a cer- 
tified copy of our letters in his hand, nothing criminal 
had been observed, no iniquitous suggestion that put 
even a hypothetical stain on the monotonous white- 
ness of that immaculate district. If they had had the 
good sense to own up to somct/iing, even if it were 
nothing worse than the detection of a couple of rag- 
amuffins pitching pennies, there would have been a 
semblance of probability about their report that would 
have relieved it ; but the idea that the high function- 
aries of the New York Police were unable to get upon 
the trace or even presentiments of depravity in De- 
lancey, Chrystie, and Bayard Streets, was too much 
even for the more gullible element of our community, 
and the elaborate whitewashing which the officials put 
upon each other was publicly accepted with mingled 
amusement and contempt. 

In the meantime our office kept watch on that little 


spot of municipal paradise, and knew how soon after 
our letters were issued Devery's crime factories closed 
up, and how soon they resumed again. Our men, how- 
ever, for the following month, devoted the larger part 
of their energies to another field, and Devery, Will- 
iams, and Byrnes were allowed space for meditation 
and opportunit}' to repent and to bring forth fruits 
meet, for repentance. 

Having waited what seemed to us ample time for 
the development of a penitential mood, and discover- 
ing in that portion of town no symptoms of a change 
of spirit or of purpose, we brought our men again upon 
the same ground and, taking our former list again, made 
solid cases against most of the same houses de novo, 
forty-five in number. When this work had been com- 
pleted in a way fully to satisfy the requirements of the 
legal members of our Executive Committee (Messrs. 
Frank Moss and T. D. Kenneson), another series of 
complaints was prepared and addressed to the same 
parties as before. This was on the 12th of October. 
The communication, transmitted to J. J. Martin, Presi- 
dent of the Board of Police Commissioners, was as 
follows : 

"Whatever maybe the incapacity or duplicity of the 
agencies through which you aim to secure the enforce- 
ment of law, you will be obliged to concede that the 
responsibility for the condition of this city, in that 
particular, still rests with yourself and your colleagues; 
and at the expense of seeming to you repetitious, we 


take this means of informing you that the police pre- 
cinct which you have placed in charge of Captain 
William S. Devery, and of which, for considerations 
doubtless appreciated by yourself, you are still retain- 
ing him in charge, is being administered by him in the 
same manner of incompetency, or of criminality— ac- 
cording as you may prefer to designate it — as that to 
which your attention was recently called by a letter 
emanating from the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime, and received by you August loth. In our cor- 
respondence at that time we cited the statutes bearing 
upon the case, and we are pleased to see that neither 
the Mayor, your own Board, the Acting Superinten- 
dent of Police, the Inspecter nor the Captain of the 
Eleventh Precinct has taken any exception to the in- 
terpretation which those statutes were recognized by 
us as designed to carry. It appears, therefore, that 
the law in the premises we all interpret alike. The 
obligation of your department to proceed without 
dallying or subterfuge to the inspection of all sus- 
pected places, and to the repression and restraint of 
all unlawful places, is mutually conceded. There be- 
ing no dispute, then, in the matter of law, the question 
resolves itself exclusively into one of fact. 

" Here also we are clear in the ground which we 
occupy, and do not propose to be ' bluffed ' by any 
system of mutual exculpation or raw denial with which 
the agencies of your Department rush to one another's 
relief. After the easy disposition which was made of 
our complaint received in August, we deemed it due 
to yourselves to afford ample time for the adoption of 
a policy more consistent with the responsibilities de- 
volving upon you, but have diligently employed the 


interim in studying the habits of your Department with 
particular reference to the precinct in question. The 
spasm of zeal exhibited by your subordinates on the 
appearance of our complaint has never, for a day, de- 
luded the gamblers or the bawdy-house keepers of the 
precinct into the supposition that their business was 
imperilled. However you may see fit to explain it, 
the criminals in that precinct expect more from the 
jirotection of your Department than fear from its inflic- 
tions. As already said, we have kept in touch with 
the precinct, and we desire to communicate to you 
herewith the results of our latest canvass, completed 
on October 4th. We knew in August, as we know now, 
that the reports made to your Board by Acting Super- 
intendent Conlin, by Inspector Alexander S. Williams, 
and by Captain William S. Devery, whether by inten- 
tion or otherwise, are misrepresentations of the truth 
in essential particulars ; and however stinted may 
have been the hospitality which you evinced toward 
our complaint as then presented, you will now cer- 
tainly, unless bound to others by ties as degrading as 
they would be unlawful, give to our renewed com- 
plaint a heed more in keeping with the dignity of your 
position and the gravity of the accusation. 

" In a communication received by you in August last, 
the undersigned brought to your attention some fifty 
places at which gambling was being carried on, or 
which were being maintained as disorderly houses. 
Your response to the same, as made to your superior 
ofificer, has been forwarded to us. We know very well 
the ground on which we stand, and do not reopen the 
correspondence for any purpose of debating the mat- 
ter with you. We have adopted our own scheme of 


action, and the notice which we now serve upon you 
is the second step in the pursuance of that policy, so 
far as it concerns yourself. We submit, herewith, for 
your consideration and action, a list of disorderly 
houses which are now doing business in your pre- 
cinct. You will perceive that this list is substan- 
tially identical with that furnished you in August. 
In your report to Inspector Williams you claim to 
have visited these houses. W^hether you visited them 
or not, they were in operation prior to that date ; they 
were in operation subsequent to that date, and they 
were all of them in full blast on October 4th. 

"Consistently with the obligations imposed upon you 
by the statutes and ' Rules and Regulations ' under 
which you are acting, and which were quoted to you in 
our previous communication, we demand of you that 
you address yourself to this business without sub- 
terfuge or evasion, and that you proceed to close and 
to keep closed the places used for lewd or obscene 

From our other communications we select only 
that addressed to Captain ^^'illiam S. Devery, of the 
Eleventh Precinct, as follows : 

"We submit, then, herewith a list of disorderly houses 
which are at present flourishing under the administra- 
tion of Captain Devery — our object in collecting this 
evidence being to show, not what kind of women keep 
the houses, but what kind of a captain keeps the pre- 
cinct. Both now and heretofore our contention has 
not been with the disorderly houses per se, but with 
Captain Devery, and men like him, who, having ac- 


cepted positions of grave authority, are failing, either 
from incompetence or from criminal complicity, to 
meet their obligations. 

"By comparing the accompanying list with the one 
furnished you in August, you will perceive their sub- 
stantial identity. The houses were running before 
the time when your subordinates claim to have visited 
them ; have been running since, and were in full 
operation on the evening of October 4th ; and not only 
in operation, but conducting their business in a man- 
ner which made profligacy an open fact, the whole 
region pestilential, and youthful escape from the foul 
contagion a physical and moral impossibility. Any 
claim that Captain Devery is so disguising the social 
evil as to make vice difficult in his precinct is a lie 
from bottom up ; and unless you compel him to the 
decent discharge of his functions in that particular, 
your own souls will have the burden to carry of the 
physical and moral pollution which free and exhibitive 
lust are bound to entail." 

We had two or three objects in thus repeating our 
blows. In the first place, more soreness will be in- 
duced by striking one spot twice than in striking two 
spots once. Besides that, we wanted to convince 
Martin and Sheehan that we were not amenable to 
any game of bluff. There was a constant expectation 
on their part that we were going to be tired pretty 
soon, and there was great satisfaction afforded to us 
in deferring their hopes. There was also another pur- 
pose in this second assault upon Devery which will 
disclose itself as the story proceeds. 


It was with a kind of earnest curiosity that we 
awaited the effect of our second discharge. We had 
the satisfaction of knowing that whatever the Com- 
missioners and their subordinates did, they were cer- 
tain to be put in an awkward predicament. They 
would be obliged either to incriminate themselves by 
retreating from the position they had taken in August, 
or they would be obliged to stultify themselves by 
continuing to maintain that position. But a criminal 
will always prefer to make himself foolish rather than 
to confess himself wicked, and our complaint was re- 
ceived by the Board with even chillier hospitality than 
had been accorded to it in August. The matter came 
up before the Police Board on October 20th. Super- 
intendent Byrnes reported that he had instructed 
Inspector Williams and Captain Devery to make a 
thorough investigation into the charges preferred in 
our last communication, and, if they found the law 
violated, to arrest the offender and report the result. 
In addition, the Superintendent detailed two Central 
Office detectives, furnishing them with lists of the 
places complained of, and directing them to visit sep- 
arately, and unknown to each other, the specified 
places at irregular hours of the day or night, and to 
report. In his report to the Superintendent, Inspec- 
tor Williams says : 

" I have given the communication from Dr. Park- 
hurst and its charges of alleged open immorality in 
the Eleventh Precinct, and of intimated criminality on 


the part of Captain Devery in permitting such places 
to exist, the closest possible attention and investiga- 
tion. I fnid that these charges are without foundation. 
I will further state that the report made by Captain 
Devery last August on a similar communication was 
true, and that there was positively no misrepresenta- 
tion of any kind in either of these reports. As to 
gambling in the Eleventh Precinct, there is none ; and 
any person who says that gambling is carried on there 
tells a deliberate and malicious falsehood. 

" The alleged disorderly houses in the precinct were 
visited by officers in citizen's clothes, under my direc- 
tion, previous to October 4th, and since October 4th, 
up to date, and no violation of the law was found. On 
receipt of this communication I detailed officers from 
outside the Eleventh Precinct to visit at irregular 
hours these houses, and in no case could they gain ad- 
mittance, or procure evidence that would tend to 
show that the law was in any way violated. 

" I have also frequently visited the streets and 
passed the houses mentioned in the communication, 
and have failed to find any of the ' open profiigacy ' or 
' foul contagion ' from which the writers of this com- 
munication would make it appear that ' youthful es- 
cape ' was a ' moral impossibility,' and any person who 
would make such a statement in the face of the actual 
condition of the precinct has no regard for truth or his 
moral obligations. 

" In conclusion, it is admitted by the signers of the 
communication that it is a personal attack on Captain 
Devery and not against disorderly houses. And the 
false accusations therein contained would never have 
been made, had not Captain Devery caused the arrest 


and conviction of the Superintendent of the Society 
for the Suppression of Vice, for blackmail." 

After the above reports had been read by Chief 
Clerk Kipp, they were accepted and filed. At this 
point Commissioner MacLean moved that the Inspec- 
tor and Captain mentioned in our communication be 
given permission to bring action for libel against the 
signers of the paper. Commissioners Martin, McClave, 
and Sheehan declined to step into the hole which Mr. 
MacLean, with characteristic courtesy, had dug for 
them. Mr. Sheehan, who keeps in stock a good deal 
of righteous indignation of a certain sort, and who felt 
himself severely rubbed at the spot where that com- 
modity is deposited, followed the defeat of Mr. Mac- 
Lean's pleasant suggestion with the following remarks, 
quoted from the report in the JVorid of the day 
following : 

" Gentlemen," then said Mr. Sheehan, " I believe it 
will be conceded that since I have been a member of 
this board, I have always been inclined to favor Dr. 
Parkhurst in furnishing him and his Society with any 
documents or information that we might have which 
would be of service to his Society, for the reason that 
I thought he was honestly endeavoring to perform 
what he considered public duty. I find, however, that 
I have been entirely mistaken. Within the past few 
days I have read interviews given to the newspapers 
by Dr. Parkhurst, in which he says that he wished it to 
be distinctly understood that he and his assistants were 


not fighting disorderly houses, saloons, and gambling- 
houses, but that they were fighting Tammany Hall. 
The public had been led to believe otherwise. The 
people supposed that the one object and end of Dr. 
Parkhurst and his Society was war on saloons and dis- 
orderly houses. 

" Has the reverend gentleman's vocation departed, 
or is he only coming out now under his true colors ? 
It seems to me," concluded the Commissioner, " that 
henceforth no attention whatever should be paid by 
this Board to any communications from Dr. Parkhurst 
or his Society. His harangues shall receive only the 
same attention as is given to other Republican stump 
speakers who are continually howling for the destruc- 
tion of the Democratic party." 

The thorough and wicked insincerity of the Com- 
missioners will be understood from the following par- 
agraph of an interview had with us on the day fol- 
lowing : 

" Our complaints of August and October made 
Byrnes, Williams, and Devery defendants in the case. 
They are the parties whose guilt or innocence it was 
incumbent upon the Commissioners to demonstrate. 
Instead of investigating the matter themselves, the 
Commissioners have delegated the duty to the very 
defendants whose alleged incompetence or criminality 
we insisted on being e.xamined into. They have said 
to the accused : ' You may retire, decide what you 
think of yourselves and each other, and bring in a 
verdict.' The verdict came in yesterday, whereupon 
the astute Commissioners turn to the waiting public 


and say, ' Non proven.' Whether that means that the 
Commissioners believe their subordinates to be so in- 
nocent that it would be an insult to them to have 
them investigated, or so criminal that it would be 
awkward for the Commissioners themselves, we have 
no present opinion that we care to express. But con- 
sidered as a purely judicial process, it is a mixture of 
farce and tragedy that touches some of us at the spot 
where we keep our unutterable loathing. If we sup- 
posed that the object of the Commissioners was not 
to clear the culprits but to get at the bottom facts, 
we think we could put them in reach of a few such 
facts. They need our help a great deal more than 
we need theirs. Sheehan, with an inflection that is 
tenderly tinged with pathos, is reported as saying at 
the meeting yesterday that we had not shown a dis- 
position to avail of his support. We don't want his 
support. We are not sailing in his boat. If he wants 
to sail in our boat a little while, perhaps we might con- 
clude to take him aboard and cruise around with him, 
touching at occasional points within the jurisdiction 
of his Department, where he could pick up a pertinent 
fact or two, that would enable him and his colleagues 
to bring in a verdict of their own, and not simply a ver- 
dict that had been put in their mouths by their sus- 
pected subordinates." At the very moment when the 
whitewashing process was going on at the Police 
Commissioners' room yesterday afternoon, an arrest 
was made at a house in Forsyth Street, named in Cap- 
tain Devery's report as having been closed October 4th, 
but when visited by our detectives on Tuesday and 
Thursday of this week was found to be running as 
usual. We obtained a warrant from Justice Voorhis, 


and the keeper of the house spent the night in the 
Essex Market jail." 

All these events were doing their steady work in 
the opinions and feelings of the community. iVe 
were being defeated at every turn, but the cause we 
represented was winning. It was becoming increas- 
ingly evident to men with an intelligence and a con- 
science, that unrighteousness was so pervasively 
wrought into the structure of our city government, 
that honesty and decency had no rights which it felt 
itself bound to respect, and that evil was so deeply 
intrenched that nothing short of a revolution would 
avail to shatter and subvert it. Thus, while the move- 
ment of our cause was outwardly retrograde, it was 
substantially onward and forward. 



It is important that there be a clear understanding 
of the point at which we are now arrived. We had 
ample proof of the existence of more than sixty gam- 
bling and disorderly places in the Eleventh Precinct. 
We told the Police Department we had such proof, and 
they told us we lied, or words to that effect. That 
was in August. In October we secured fresh proof 
against forty places of the same character in the same 
precinct, and for the most part identical with those 
complained of in August. We told the department 
we had such proof and again they told us we lied, 
only this time with a sneer. We were, however, on 
a sure trail, and had no intention of being brow- 
beaten. With so much accomplished, and accom- 
plished to our own satisfaction and to that of the town, 
there was only one thing that remained to do next, 
and that was to select a certain number of Devery's 
pest-holes, that Devery, Williams, Byrnes and the 
commissioners had given the public to understand had 
no existence outside of our incompetent and vicious 
imaginations, gather fresh evidence upon them, and 


take them before the Grand Jury as ground for Dev- 
ery's indictment. 

This was easily done. Even granting that Byrnes 
and his associates had been conscientiously unable to 
discover criminal conduct in the resorts we com- 
plained of, they could easily have prevented the 
continuance of such conduct if they had chosen to. 
There was, however, no such effort made on their 
part, because there was no such desire. The forty 
resorts were soon in the full swing of their criminal 
industries again, and we had no difficulty in securing 
against them all the evidence required. 

We selected four houses from the number of those 
that had been specified in both our previous com- 
plaints, and made against them cases so strong that 
nothing which made pretence to justice or legality 
could sufifice to break them. 

These cases were tried at the Court of Special Ses- 
sions on the 14th of November, before Justices Grady, 
Smith, and McMahon. 

The judicial lights just specified were not altogether 
of such quality as to thrill us with ardent anticipa- 
tion, but at any rate we knew our cases were well 
made, and besides that, there was one influence oper- 
ating that was decidedly in our favor. The Novem- 
ber election of '93 had been held the week before, and 
there was an exceptional amount of moral ozone in 
the air. Brooklyn had just broken its municipal ring, 
and the cause of honest government was looking up. 


People were beginning to recover the courage of their 
convictions. Decency was coming to mean more. 
There was an amount of moral pressure beginning to 
exert itself that even Tammany Justices felt them- 
selves beholden to reckon with. 

We can argue against the propriety of public senti- 
ment affecting judicial procedure, but it does affect it 
all the same. It will, to a degree, vitiate the findings 
of honest judges and jurors, and it will to a degree 
rectify the findings of dishonest judges and jurors. 
Whatever theory we may hold upon the question ab- 
stractly, there was sentiment in the atmosphere, that 
14th of November, that had not been there two weeks 
before, and it contributed incalculably to the issues 
of the day. The testimony of our witnesses was 
strong and lucid, and the prosecution was ably con- 
ducted by Messrs. Moss and Kenneson of our Execu- 
tive Committee. The verdict of guilty was promptly 
rendered in each of the four cases, and sentence pro- 

We have been thus explicit in our recital of this 
matter for the reason that the convictions secured 
that day constituted a crisis in the history of our 
work ; and a crisis, too, that was scarcely appreciated 
by the judicial gentlemen who sat upon the Bench. 
We had been a year and a half in reaching that point, 
and the decisions rendered in our favor by the Court 
was the proof upon which was to hang everything 
coming after. The simple fact was, that three Tam- 


many Justices had been compelled by the indubitable 
evidence which we furnished, to render a verdict that 
practically convicted Divver, Martin, Byrnes, and the 
Police Commissioners, either of absolute ignorance of 
matters with which they ought to have been thoroughly 
acquainted, or of secret sympathy with a condition of 
things which ought to have excited their official in- 
dignation and moral disgust. 

Before going on, now, to speak of the use which we 
made of the convictions thus secured, it will be neces- 
sary to go back ,a couple of weeks and describe the 
brutal handling of our detectives by the " Broome 
Street Mob," on the afternoon of October 27th, at the 
same hour, significantly enough, when the Police Com- 
missioners in their office on Mulberry Street, were con- 
sidering our last complaint touching the Eleventh Pre- 
cinct, and whitewashing the captain (Devery) in whose 
precinct the mobbing outrage was committed. The 
coincidence might almost be considered as a provi- 
dential rap at the humbuggery of the Police Commis- 
sioners who did the whitewashing, and at the false tes- 
timony of the superior police officials upon which the 
finding of the Commissioners was based. The report 
of this event which, almost more than any other, has 
evidenced the animosity cherished toward us by the 
Superintendent of Police, his immediate subordinates 
and the thugs who stood in with them, can best be re- 
lated in the words of John H. Lemmon, who is a tried 
and faithful member of our detective force, and who, 


as the reader will see, was himself personally partici- 
pant in the scenes which he describes : 

" On Friday afternoon, October 27th, accompanied 
by four other detectives of the Society, we appeared 
before Justice Voorhis to prosecute three of the women 
who it has just been said were tried and convicted 
November 14th. It having been noised around the pre- 
cinct that these women would be arraigned, numbers of 
their friends, including hangers-on, blacklegs, thugs, 
Tammany heelers and other friends of the keepers of 
disorderly houses in the precinct, made their way to 
Essex Market Police Court. Their appearance was 
such that the Court Officers drove them from the en- 
trance. They, however, lingered about on the street 
adjacent to the Court, waiting for us to come out. 

" A little after four o'clock, Messrs. Moss and Ken- 
neson, of our Executive Committee, left the court- 
room, and being unknown to the crowd were not 
recognized as being connected with the case. They, 
however, did not like the looks of the crowd, and tak- 
ing a stand on the opposite side of the street, watched 
developments. We had learned of the presence of 
the crowd outside, and that their numbers were being 
constantly augmented. Mr. Moss returned and told 
us that we had better separate, each of us going our 
own way. We objected to this, knowing full well that 
our safety depended on our remaining together. As 
we came out we found fully one hundred and fifty men. 


and they at once closed around us. One who was in 
advance of the crowd sprang toward me with a knife 
in his hand, which was drawn back ready to strike. 
(I have since learned this man's name and address.) 
One of our detectives exclaimed * Look out, Lemmon, 
he is going to knife you.' I at once jumped away and 
faced my assailant, and saw him, knife in hand, being 
hustled away by some of his crowd. We walked on, 
hoping the crowd w^ould disperse, as none of us was 
prepared for a row. But the crowd continued to in- 
crease. The mob followed closely upon us, growing 
in size, their numbers being added to by loungers and 
others from the various saloons and other such places 
as we passed along. As they would meet a crowd 
they would remark ' We are after the Parkhurst men, 
and are going to do them up.' These threats were 
heard by a number of responsible parties, including 
Messrs. Moss and Kenneson who, not being recognized, 
walked along in the crowd without fear of being mo- 

" When we arrived at the corner of Allen Street, we 
met a policeman on duty, and one of our men went up 
to him and said : ' I call upon you to disperse this 
mob, or we shall have a man killed here.' The police- 
man laughed at us, and paid no attention to the re- 
quest. We paused only for a moment, as by this time 
the crowd had grown to fully five hundred people, and 
they were pressing us pretty closely. The crowd was 
not the usual howling mob, which expends most of its 


energy in wind, but had a decidedly business air about 

" When we reached the Bowery, I suggested that 
we take a Fourth Avenue car, thinking it possible 
the crowd would follow us no farther. One had just 
passed and we had to wait. We crossed over the 
street, the mob still at our heels, and growing bolder 
every minute. A car was coming, and it seemed only 
a question of seconds whether we should be assaulted 
or not. Just as the car came up we attempted to 
board it, but I was cut off by a passing beer- wagon 
and separated from the others. I made a dash around 
it and jumped on the front of the car. A man leaped 
on the other side and struck at me. I dodged the 
blow and struck my assailant, which knocked him off 
the car. At the same time the crowd surged around 
the car, two men grabbing the bridles of the horses 
and stopping them. 

" In the meantime the other four men were near the 
rear of the car, trying to board it. A big, burly-look- 
ing ruffian gave one of our men a stinging blow on the 
cheek. Others of the mob struck at our men while 
boarding the car, but they succeeded in avoiding the 

"We finally made our way into the car, in which 
there were a number of passengers, who were badly 
frightened. Numbers of the mob jumped on the car 
at both ends, and tried to force their way inside ; but 
our men stood at the doors, and, assisted by the con- 


ductor, who was very roughly handled, kept them 
back. Two policemen, who were attracted by the 
crowd, rushed to the rescue of the Society's officers, 
and pulled their assailants from the car. To the 
credit of these two policemen, I want to say they 
worked manfully, so far as I could see, and by their 
well-directed energy discouraged the rioters. As soon 
as the men holding the horses released them, the 
driver plied his whip with a will, and we went up the 
street at a full run, leaving a crowd of fully fifteen 
hundred men, which had collected during the row at 
the car. 

" In the meantime, I was having a very exciting ex- 
perience. The pressure was so great on the front of 
the car, that, being separated from my friends, J left it 
and boarded a Third Avenue car, when I was again 
attacked by some of the mob who had noticed my 
movements. I, however, succeeded in again knocking 
off my assailant, but things became so warm I had to 
make another change, and bolted for a Fourth Avenue 
car which happened to be passing, but was followed 
by my pursuers. I was once more attacked, but was 
fortunate enough to push my assailant off the car, and 
immediately left from the other side and made my way 
to the Grand Street station of the Elevated road. 
Two men followed me and took the same car. When 
the train arrived at Twenty-third Street, I turned to 
them and threatened to make them trouble if they 
attempted to follow me farther. They evidently 


thought they had had enough, and concluded to give 
up further pursuit. I then went to the office of the 
Society and reported. Afterward I went to Dr. 
Parkhurst's house and informed him of what had 

Exasperating as this mobbing affray in some re- 
spects was, it was highly interesting as an object-lesson 
of the fact that when we pushed the Superintendent 
and Inspector and the Captain beyond a certain point, 
the thugs flew to their relief, showing by incontestable 
proof that they knew who their friends were. Noth- 
ing, perhaps, has occurred in the history of our deal- 
ings with the high police officials that has been to 
them a more fruitful source of mortification, or that 
has made more friends for our cause, especially in the 
lower parts of the town. The Superintendent had 
plumed himself upon the fact that however much 
hidden crime there might be in the city, anybody could 
walk the streets, in daylight at least, without fear of 
molestation. This event on Broome Street gave the 
lie to his brag. We were curious to know what he 
would do about it. Our Executive Committee im- 
mediately decided that we should ourselves take no 
action. We had laid repeated complaints before the 
administrative and executive heads of the department 
without effect, and concluded that we could fish with 
more effect in other waters. 

Mr, Byrnes sent to me for our detectives, and I re- 


turned word to him that they were at his service. Mr. 
Moss called at the Superintendent's ofifice, and in 
describing his visit there, says : " I saw Mr. Byrnes, 
and he said he knew who committed the outrage, and 
damned them roundly, and said that he would sift the 
matter to the bottom, and would have the guilty 
parties, no matter who they were or how high they 
were. He said it was a bad condition of affairs if a 
mob could drive our men half a mile through the 
streets without interference, and the honor of the 
Police Department was at stake. He was earnest and 

Three of the ringleaders were arrested by Byrnes. 
Mr. Lemmon further testified as follows : 

" These three arrested parties were all identified by 
our detectives at Police Headquarters, among them 
the one who had attempted to assassinate me. I was 
sent for by Superintendent Byrnes and requested to 
appear at Essex Market Court for the purpose of 
identifying, if I could, any of the men whom he had 
arrested on information furnished him by us. I ac- 
cordingly went to Essex Market Court, and there 
heard the keeper instructed to * line-up ' ten men in 
the jail and take me in and see if I could identify any 
of those who had figured in the mob. I waited for 
about thirty minutes, and finally was told by Captain 
Devery that they were ready. I went into the jail, 
which was a dark, dingy place, and in the very darkest 


part of the jail I saw about twenty men, all in a line, 
with their backs turned to the light, making it as hard 
for me to identify them as possible. I went up and 
down the line several times, while Captain Devery and 
the other officials stood and watched me. I finally 
turned to Devery and his men and told him that I 
had picked out two of the people whom I would swear 
were in the mob, one of whom, I stated, was the man 
who had attempted to assassinate me. I was told to 
go back and place my hand on the men whom I could 
identify. I accordingly did this, and placed my hand 
on Sugar, and remarked, 'This is the man that stabbed 
at me ; I will swear to it. This other man was in the 
mob, and one of the ringleaders on the Bowery.' 
After I had done this, Captain Devery had the impu- 
dence to say to me, ' Who gave you the pointers so as 
to identify these men ? ' I informed him that I did 
not have any pointers as to how to identify these men, 
nor did I need any pointers of him or anyone else. 
After this was done, three prisoners, two of whom I 
had identified and three of whom all the other de- 
tectives had personally identified, were taken into the 
court and arraigned before the judge. I was asked if 
I positively identified the man who had stabbed at me, 
and I told him that I had, and pointed him out." 

It is unnecessary to rehearse all the efforts made by 
the Superintendent to get out of the hole into which 
he had placed himself by the voluble profanity by 


which he had committed himself to the cause of justice 
while in conference with Mr. Moss. He insisted that 
we should assum.e the part of prosecutors. We re- 
fused, and told him to mind what was his own busi- 
ness and not ours, and do the prosecuting himself. 
We were informed that if we did not prosecute, the 
prisoners would be discharged. We said, " Discharge 
them then. If the Superintendent of Police does not 
care enough for the duties of his office and the reputa- 
tion of his Department to prosecute a lot of vagabonds 
who, in broad daylight, have set upon the agents of a 
chartered society quietly engaged in doing what, as 
such agents, it belonged to them to do, let him stand 
by the record of his criminal neglect, and bear the ig- 
nominy of it." 

The prisoners were discharged on November 3d. 
The Superintendent decided that there had been no 
mob ! By no means, probably, could the Superin- 
tendent have made more distinctly apparent his total 
unsympathy with the cause of clean and honest mu- 
nicipal administration for which our Society inflexibly 



The chapter just concluded is parenthetical and 
deals only with an incident that branched off from 
the main line of events. We have now to recur to the 
point at which we had arrived upon securing our four 
convictions in the Court of Special Sessions, Novem- 
ber 13th. 

These convictions were against the keepers of four 
disorderly houses in Devery's precinct, of which com- 
plaint had been made in our letter addressed to the 
Department both in August and October. The Com- 
missioners, on the testimony of Byrnes, Williams and 
Devery, had declared in both of those months that 
there were no such places in the precinct. We there- 
fore showed the whitewashing character of their re- 
port, and the falsity of the testimony upon which it 
was based, by taking the keepers of four houses speci- 
fied in both complaints, having them arrested, tried, 
convicted, and sentenced. 

With this material in hand we went before the 
Grand Jury and secured four indictments against Cap- 
tain Devery on the 29th of November. The indict- 


meat of a captain was a great event, not to say an 
unprecedented one. It was a little like the thinning 
of the clouds after a long storm, which still leaves it 
probable that there may yet be a good deal more rain, 
but suggests that there are new influences creeping 
into the atmosphere and that it is not going to rain 
always. The feeling of the community was well ex- 
pressed by the following editorial paragraphs taken 
from the Monihig Advertiser on the following day : 

" The victory achieved by the Rev. Dr. Parkhurst 
in securing the indictment of Captain Devery for mis- 
demeanor in permitting the existence of disorderly 
houses in his precinct, is not only encouraging to the 
decent people who are striving to clean out the moral 
plague spots which are corrupting the municipality it- 
self, but it is significant of the fact the public begins 
to feel and understand, that despite the power and 
strength of Tammany Hall, the people are even more 
powerful, when aroused, and the machinery of the law 
can be successfully invoked to w'ork the reforms to 
which they are devoted. 

"A few months ago there was a feeling that the 
conspiracy headed by Mr. Croker was all-powerful for 
evil, and that it was scarcely worth while to struggle 
against it ; and it was a question whether this in- 
dictment could have been secured so long as jurors 
were given to understand that Tammany would 'get 
even ' with the man who attacked any of its minions. 

" It may also be taken by these heelers as a warning 
that they may, after all, reach the end of their ropes 
in time. Neither the boss nor the organization itself 


is always able to protect them, as they have always be- 
lieved. The people have some rights and there is law 
to secure them, and that law can be made operative." 

These indictments offered us a certain amount of 
promise, and yet promise that in our collected moments 
we never expected to see fulfilled. If it had been 
possible to disassociate Devery from the Police De- 
partment, we felt that it would have been easy to con- 
vict him. He was not attending to his duties in the 
Eleventh Precinct ; community was satisfied of that, 
and the Grand Jury were convinced of it, and it was 
not difficult to persuade an intelligent jury of the 
fact. The trouble, however, was that in convicting 
him they would be convicting not him only, but the 
whole of the Police Department, for they were all in 
it, and were all committed to it. That is why we were 
gratified by the indictment of Devery without being 
in the least degree elated by it. 

Devery was not brought to trial until the following 
April, and was acquitted. The large attendance of 
police captains indicated that they realized that it was 
their trial as much as it was his. The Superintendent 
committed himself to the support of the defendant to 
the extent of indicating his confidence in the reports 
upon the condition of the precinct made to him by 
his detectives, and upon which had been based his 
own exculpating report to the Commissioners. One 
of the effects of the way in which the prosecution was 


conducted by Assistant District-Attorney Weeks, was 
to make us long more ardently for the time when the 
District-Attorney's office should become in this city a 
stronghold of justice, to the dismay of the criminal 
and the encouragement of the righteous. 

Captain Devery's acquittal was distinctly a victory 
for the Police Department and the other vicious ele- 
ments of the community, but even for them the vic- 
tory was an expensive one, for the time had now 
arrived when success gained by our enemy ceased to 
secure the applause of the people at large, or to check 
the rising and strengthening current of popular indig- 
nation. Devery's acquittal, in view of the strength 
of the case we had against him, was a boon to our 
cause for which we shall never cease to be profoundly 

A month after the indictment had been found, we 
undertook, on the 27th day of December, to secure 
an indictment against Inspector Williams and Cap- 
tain Schmittberger. Devery's precinct lay within 
Williams's inspection district ; and if the Grand Jury 
considered Devery delinquent as captain, for having 
a filthy precinct, it seemed reasonable to expect (and 
the opinion subsequently stated by Judge Barrett 
justified our expectation) that it would consider Will- 
iams delinquent as an inspector for having to that 
extent a filthy inspection district. Unfortunately, 
however, we had now a different Grand Jury to deal 
with. There were sitting in December both the regu- 


lar jury and an Extraordinary one. We desired to bring 
Williams and Schmittberger before the former, but for 
some reason the District-Attorney was concerned 
to have the regular jury discharged, notwithstanding 
the fact that its members had expressed themselves 
as willing to sit longer if the Society for the Pre- 
vention of Crime had any cases to bring before them. 
It is not easy to explain Nicoll's anxiety to get them 
out of the way, unless we attribute it to his acquaint- 
ance with the fact that they were desirous of handling 
our interests and gave token of possessing the intelli- 
gence and integrity to handle them with. And so 
we were shoved off onto the Extraordinary Jury — 
against which we had been earnestly warned — and 
suffered defeat. 

We are not whining, but we desire that there should 
be a clear and widespread understanding of the solid 
wall of opposition against which all our blows had to 
be delivered. The District-Attorney's office has been, 
from the first, an obdurate obstacle and a biting exas- 
peration. It was well-nigh impossible to gain entrance 
to the Grand-Jury room, except over the recalcitrant 
and protesting body of the District- Attorney. In the 
matter of Schmittberger, just referred to, the mutual 
antipathy of the District-Attorney's office and our 
own reached its climax. After our charge against 
Williams and Schmittberger had been thrown out by 
the Extraordinary Jury, I issued, in behalf of the So- 
ciety for the Prevention of Crime, a statement cover- 


ing the previous six months of our controversy with 
the District-Attorney, which is too long to be inserted 
entire, but which was excellently summarized at the 
time by Dr. J. N. Hallock (editor of the Christian at 
Work, a member of the Society for the Prevention of 
Crime), and printed in his issue of January ii, 1894, as 
follows : 

!* Dr. Parkhurst's two strong points are a thorough 
conviction of the righteousness of his cause and his 
entire confidence in the intelligence and moral sense 
of the people. And in no instance are these more 
conspicuous than in the appeal he has just made from 
the District-Attorney's office in this city directly to 
the people in the case of Inspector Williams and Cap- 
tain Schmittberger, who are charged with a plain and 
wilful neglect of their duty. Such an appeal he has 
shown to be not only wise, but absolutely necessary. 
All the influence which is possessed by the combina- 
tion of politics and crime that governs New York has 
been exerted to prove that the work of Dr. Parkhurst 
is based upon a misconception of the law and of the 
facts, and that therefore his charges really have no 
standing in court. The failure of the Grand Jury to 
indict Schmittberger and Williams would, of course, be 
paraded as actual proof of the unsubstantial nature of 
his work. The statement of Dr. Parkhurst puts the 
responsibility for the failure where it belongs, and 
New York and her perplexed and outraged friends, as 
well as the better classes of the people everywhere, are 
delighted to have found at last a man and a Society 
who dare and are able to persist in fighting for the 


enforcement of law and the removal from power of 
the partners in crime, with as great pertinacity as 
those who violated the law. Dr. Parkhurst has vividly 
and tersely given the story of the efforts of the So- 
ciety to secure indictments, and has placed ex-District- 
Attorney Nicoll right where he belongs, and at the 
same time effectively notified Colonel Fellows that the 
men behind the organization know the law, and are not 
to be bulldozed or cowed into inaction. He reviews 
the history of the Society's dealings with the District- 
Attorney's office and the Grand Jury for the past six 
months. The public is familiar with the greater part 
of it, but there is one incident to which attention 
should be called. After unsuccessful efforts to induce 
Mr. Nicoll to present the evidence against the police 
captains to the Grand Jury last summer, a meeting 
was arranged by the District-Attorney and Mr. Cross, 
the foreman of the jury, and Mr. Frank Moss, the law- 
yer of the Society. The men were brought together 
by Mr. Nicoll, and both he and Mr. Cross argued that 
no attack should be made upon the police at that time, 
because there might be labor riots in September. Mr. 
Moss thought on that very account the police should 
be looked after at once, so that they would know what 
was required of them and be in condition to work if 
the possible riots appeared. But no evidence collected 
by the Society could be got before that jury. Mr. 
Cross was again foreman in December, and when the 
evidence was at last submitted he failed to find indict- 
ments. When the November jury indicted Captain 
Devery, Dr. Parkhurst was refused the jury-room till 
he had agreed not to ask for the indictment of Super- 
intendent Byrnes. Efforts were made to get before 


the regular December jury, and they were also anxious 
to hear from the Society. But Dr. Parkhurst was put 
oft" until it was too late to summon witnesses, although 
he was told that he might present his case on the last 
day of the term. He could not get ready on such 
short notice, and finally, after he had informed the 
public of this treatment, arrangements were made to 
allow him to appear before the Extraordinary Jury, of 
which iSIr. Cross, the man who had urged Mr. Moss 
not to attack the police, was foreman. This last 
statement shows why indictments were not found, and 
makes evident the fact that vital evidence was pur- 
posely omitted by the District-Attorney. Every man 
of average intelligence knows that Williams and 
Schmittberger could not possibly be ignorant of the 
existence of houses of ill-repute which they had not 
closed, and no one believes that an impartial jury 
would have failed to indict these men if the facts 
could have been given, as they would have been given, 
if the District-Attorney had not interfered. It was 
evidently without a knowledge of these facts that 
some of the Grand Jury innocently recommended that 
tliere be harmony and concerted action between the 
Police Department and the Society for the Prevention 
of Crime. ... 

"In conclusion, Dr. Parkhurst writes these ringing 
and truthful words — words which will live long after 
Tammany has been overthrown and ceased to exist 
even in the memory of New Yorkers : ' Justice will 
not be a common commodity in this city until the 
District-Attorney's office is held by one whose judicial 
sense is not mortgaged to his political affiliations, and 
whose lovaltv to his friends does not interfere with 


his sworn obligation to mete out to all classes their 
independent and impartial dues. This statement will 
have served its purpose if it shall have made some- 
what more evident to the community the stress of 
wind and tide against which we have to make head, 
and the impossibility of securing in this city anything 
more than the caricature of justice, till at the polls 
some of the joints and ligaments have been broken 
that knit our municipal government into a compact 
body of brigandage and defiance.'" 

Whatever might be the immediate issue of such 
efforts, the Society still felt that the best means of 
strengthening the growing sentiment of community 
would be to continue in the same line of warfare upon 
other captains whose precincts were exceptionally 
corrupt, and we selected as the next candidate for 
our attention, Captain Richard Doherty, then of the 
Fourteenth Precinct. All of this seems small matter 
now, at a time when one captain is behind bars and so 
many are being measured for their striped suits ; but 
it Avas all we could do at the time, and fulfilled its 
object by paving the way for results of a more pro- 
nounced character to be achieved by the Senate Com- 
mittee further on. Later, in November of '93, we had 
made a careful examination of Captain Doherty's 
precinct, and had completed thirty-five cases of gam- 
bling and disorderly houses, and sent the letters to 
Doherty, to the Superintendent, and the Commission- 
ers, and demanded that the police do their duty and 
close the places up. 


A more important move was that made against 
Captain Slevin, of the Oak Street Station. Near the 
end of December, in the same year, in our letter of 
complaint, gambling and disorderly houses were spe- 
cified by street and number, and we were prepared, if 
necessary, to back up our charges by evidence that 
had been carefully secured. The letter which we ad- 
dressed to the Commissioners was as follows : 

" To the Honorable the Board of Police Commissioners^ 

" Gentlemen : We submit to you herewith copies 
of communications which have this day been trans- 
mitted to Thomas Byrnes, Superintendent of Police, 
and to Captain Edward Slevin, of the Fourth Police 

" While not members of the Police Department, you 
nevertheless constitute its administrative head, and 
are, in the last analysis, responsible for everything 
in the way of either incompetency, negligence, or 
criminality that distinguishes any part of the service. 

" It is incumbent upon us, therefore, to direct your 
attention to the subjoined list of resorts which have 
been found by our detectives to be maintained as dis- 
orderly houses, and to demand that you immediately 
see to it that the pressure of the Department is ex- 
ercised in the immediate and impartial suppression of 
the same. 

"By examining the files in your office you will dis- 
cover that complaints for the non-enforcement of law 
have been, on three occasions, urged by the Society 
for the Prevention of Crime against this same officer. 

" Your own appreciation of the fitness of things, it 


would seem, would hardly make it necessary for us to 
say that in order to determine fully the validity of 
our complaint, you will need to employ agencies other 
than those which are by the terms of the complaint 
made defendants in the case. 

" Respectfully yours, 

" C. H. Parkhurst, 

" T. D. KllNNESON, 

" Frank Moss, 

Executive Committee. 
"December 22, 1893." 

The following paragraph appeared in our address to 
Captain Slevin : 

"Your ofificial position presupposes your acquaint- 
ance with the statute and the rule above cited, and it 
would be superfluous to bring them to your notice 
were it not that their intent is evidently missed or 
ignored by you in your administration of the affairs of 
your own precinct. 

" We ask no question as to the reasons for your dis- 
regard of the specific requirements just quoted. We 
simply affirm the fact of such disregard, and insist upon 
it that you correct your methods of administration. 
In particular we demand that you at once deal in the 
manner prescribed with the following places situated 
in your precinct, which our detectives have repeatedly 
visited, and which they are prepared to show are being 
run as disorderly houses." 

The report made to the Commissioners by Byrnes, 
on January 5th following, exonerated Slevin, but the 


Commissioners deferred action until further infor- 
mation sliould be obtained from the Excise Board. 
When this information was received, early in February 
following, it confirmed the truth of our charges, and 
put in an awkward position Inspector Williams, Su- 
perintendent Byrnes, and Captain Slevin, who had 
agreed in presenting a whitewashing report to the 
Commissioners. It was then that the Commissioners 
asked our Society to furnish them the evidence which 
we had obtained against the houses complained of 
in Slevin's precinct. This we declined to do, and re- 
plied to them in the following letter, which is repro- 
duced in full, as exhibiting with some completeness 
the general situation at that date. 

" To the Honorable the Police Commissioners : 

"Your request has been considered carefully and re- 
spectfully, and we regret to feel ourselves obliged to 
decline the same, and for the following reasons : 

" I. Being yourselves an integral part of the Depart- 
ment whose fidelity our Society has made it a part of 
its business to impeach, you are an interested party, 
and therefore naturally lack that quality of impartial- 
ity which can alone fit you to sit in judgment upon 
adduced testimony, or make your finding to be of 
judicial value. 

" 2. We have a number of times approached you 
with information carefully prepared and honestly in- 
tended, but the indifference, and, in one instance, con- 
tempt, with which such information was received by 
you affords us no ground upon which to suppose that 


any additional facts upon the same lines would be re- 
garded any more seriously by you were we to put 
them before you. 

" 3. The character of the testimony adduced before 
the Board of Excise by some of your own detectives 
against certain of the houses of which we have com- 
plained to you, leads us to feel that, if evidence as to 
the condition of things in the Fourth Precinct is what 
you want, you already have it. The charges to which 
they have sworn already go beyond anything which 
we have alleged in our complaint to you. 

" 4. Our reluctance to avail of your Board as a tri- 
bunal before which to seek the convictions of any 
officer of the force is greatly enhanced by the issue of 
all such efforts in the past. Four captains have been 
tried before your Board since 1887 on complaint of 
private citizens. First, Captain Alexander S. Williams 
was tried on charges signed by Howard Crosby and 
others. There were thirty-five witnesses for the pro- 
secution. Commissioner Porter alone rendered an 
opinion, which was a scorching one, and thoroughly 
sustained the prosecution, and held that corrupt con- 
sideration was the ground of Williams's neglect. After 
a delay of six weeks the Board voted two to two. At 
the same session Williams was promoted to the posi- 
tion of inspector. Second, Captains Carpenter and 
McLaughlin were subsequently tried on specifications 
signed by D. J. Whitney and Howard Crosby. Com- 
missioners voted two to two. The testimony had all 
been referred to Commissioner Voorhis, who reported 
to the Board that the charges were sustained. Shortly 
after McLaughlin was promoted to the position of in- 
spector. Third, Subsequently to this. Captain Killilea 


was tried on complaint of the Forty-fourth Street As- 
sociation. The result was the same, tie vote. Re- 
cently an inspector (Williams) and two captains were 
put on trial by Superintendent Byrnes for neglect of 
duty, and Commissioner Voorhis, having been suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Sheehan, the vote for conviction was 
reduced to one, and that for acquittal increased to 

" 5. We may add to this also the fact that we do not 
care to impair the value of our detectives by submit- 
ting them any oftener than is necessary to the scrutiny 
of your officers, to say nothing of the personal violence 
to which they would render themselves liable if, as in 
the instance of their appearance at the Essex Market 
Court, they were to adventure themselves in that part 
of the city unprotected." 

So far as I am aware this case of Slevin has never 
been disposed of. 

In January, 1894, we studied up Captain Price's baili- 
wick, from which more complaints had reached us 
than from almost any other. The steps taken by us 
were similar to those taken in the previous instances 
and need not be specified. 

In April of 1894 we set our men at work on Captain 
Martens's Precinct (Station-house on East Thirty-fifth 
Street), and instead of issuing letters complaining of 
several resorts, concentrated our charges upon one 
house, and that in easy view of my own residence, 
and almost directly beneath the droppings of Mar- 
tens's official sanctuary. The following letter was 


sent to him, signed, as in every case, by the three 
members of the Executive Committee : 

" To F. W. Martens, Captain of the Twenty-fiist Pre- 

" Sir : Our object in this communication is to call 
your attention to the filthy resort which you are tol- 
erating at Corcoran's Saloon, southwest corner of 
Third Avenue and Thirty-fifth Street. It would hardly 
seem necessary that your attention should be ' called ' 
to the place, however, as it is situated close by you — 
almost under the shadow of your own station-house, 
in fact — so that information from us ought to be the 
last thing in the world that could be of service to 

" There are but few resorts which our detectives 
have visited that are reported by them as being so 
open and unblushingly vile. Being less than thirty 
paces from the station-house, your officers, of course, 
are continually filing past it, and it would be an insult 
to your powers of discernment, as well as theirs, to 
imagine that you are ignorant of the matter, at least 
in its general features. Viciousness under its elegant 
disguises may have its apologists, but in the resort 
referred to there are no disguises about it. It is a 
den of frank, brute animalism, and you know it ; of 
course you know it. 

" We have been trying to conceive what sort of in- 
stincts you are animated by that you can enjoy or 
even endure the close proximity of a hole that is so 
ingeniously filthy. We have observed the like prox- 
imity in the instance of certain other station-houses. 
Perhaps you can tell us whether there is any special 


significance attaching to such proximity. We do not 
mean to imply that the Department considers such 
a resort a necessary adjunct of the official head- 
quarters of a precinct ; still any man is a fool that 
su[)poses that Corcoran can put a bawdy-house annex 
onto his saloon and run it up so close to your office 
without there being a certain amount of understanding 
between the two institutions. 

*' If, as we would fain believe, your instincts are out- 
raged by the pro.ximity of such a nest of nastiness, by 
what sedative considerations are we to suppose that 
those instincts are kept tranquil under the severe and 
constant aggravation ? We merely want to know 
what counterweight you avail of to preserve the equa- 
nimity of your righteous soul when pulled upon by the 
distracting irritations of Corcoran's dive. 

" It is an interesting feature of the case that al- 
though Commissioner Mac Lean was known to have 
taken steps last Friday looking to your investigation 
before the Board, your neighbor on the corner, and 
other neighbors only a little more remote, were run- 
ning their lecherous traffic with the same openness 
and enthusiasm Friday evening that they had been in 
the earlier part of the week ; all of which, at least, 
suggests the confidence you have in the bulk of the 

** The Society for the Prevention of Crime has never 
claimed that the social evil is going to be entirely 
eradicated, but there are depths of sexual brutality 
that no man that has not become a beast can contem- 
plate without revulsion and loathing, and an institu- 
tion of that character you are tolerating, if not pro- 
tecting, at the place specified. 


" We make no apology for the unequivocal terms in 
which we have couched our complaint. We are deal- 
ing with a captain who has recently been convicted of 
shabby discharge of official duty, and there are times 
when language that is impassioned and indignant is 
the only mode of address which self-respecting men 
have either the power or the right to employ. 
'' Executive Committee, 

" C. H. Parkhurst, 
" T. D. Kenneson, 
" Frank Moss. 

" Rooms of the Society for the Prevention of Crime, 
" United Charities Building. April 23, 1894." 



No event has transpired during the history of our 
work that has operated more directly and powerfully 
to define and compact popular sentiment than the 
acquittal of Captain Devery. It was far more to our 
advantage that we were defeated in our efforts against 
him than it would have been had we been successful. 
The public was satisfied with the proofs which we pre- 
sented of his criminal negligence ; and his acquittal 
under those circumstances was a telling demonstra- 
tion of the fact that when it is a matter of trying a 
policeman, facts and proofs are of no significance. It 
convinced reputable people that we had reached a 
point here in this city where might makes right, and 
that the only move by which right could be restored 
to its proper supremacy was by puncturing our iniqui- 
tous system to its vitals, and effecting its complete 
subversion. We had expected the acquittal of Devery, 
and were serenely resigned to such issue, believing 
that our defeat, in this instance, so far from shaking 
the popular confidence in our cause, would rather knit 
it into tougher tension, and that the people would in 



some way soon voice themselves in a manner full of 
promise and effect. For some time there had been in 
the air the premonition of a popular demand for some 
kind of authoritative investigation of the Police De- 
partment that should be qualified to reach the inner- 
most facts of the situation. The Society for the 
Prevention of Crime was scarcely disposed to move 
in the matter, especially as we were not persuaded 
that if a special tribunal were constituted, or a Com- 
mittee of Investigation were sent down from Albany, 
it would be any improvement on previous experiments 
of the same kind. It is not an easy thing to find 
any considerable number of men, inured to political 
methods and saturated with political influences, that 
can be trusted to do thorough work along lines where 
political considerations are liable to present and assert 

While the Society for the Prevention of Crime and 
the public at large were standing in this earnest but 
waiting posture, the effective initiative was taken by 
the Chamber of Commerce. 

At a special meeting of that body, held on January 
25, 1894, the following resolutions were presented 
and moved by Mr. Gustav H. Schwab : 

" Resolved, That the Committee of Five,* appointed 
by the Chairman to represent this Chamber before the 
Legislature and the Constitutional Convention of this 

* This Committee, which had just been appointed by the President 
of the Chamber, consisted of ]. Edward Simmons, Samuel D. Babcock, 


State, be requested to advocate the separation of 
municipal elections from the State and national elec- 
tions, and genuine ballot reform. 

" Resolved, That said Committee be further re- 
quested to advocate a single head for the Police 
Department of this city. 

^'Resolved., That, in the opinion of this Chamber, 
there should be a thorough legislative investigation of 
said Department before any radical change is made in 
its administration." 

The resolutions were seconded and remarks made 
upon them by several members of the Chamber. 


" While I am in favor, as Mr. Schwab knows, of the 
object of his resolutions, of the end he seeks to attain, 
I do hope that it will not be passed by this Chamber. 
We are entering upon dangerous ground if we take up 
the subject of municipal politics — if that expression is 
not a paradox. So long as we busy ourselves with the 
question of taxation, we are in our proper element ; 
but I think it is mighty dangerous when, as a Cham- 
ber of Commerce, we take up such questions. These 
are questions belonging to Good Government Clubs 
and City Clubs, and to other semi-political societies. 
The Chamber of Commerce should have nothing to do 
with them." 

John Sloane, Henry W. Cannon, and Gustav H. Schwab, to which, 
subsequently, Charles Stewart Smith, President of the Chamber, was 
added and made Chairman. 



" It [the Police] has been a very great and valu- 
able Department of this city, so far as the rank and file 
are concerned ; but during the last twelve or eighteen 
months we have been overwhelmed in all of the jour- 
nals in this city with charges against the members of 
the police, especially the higher ranks of it ; and these 
charges go even down to the rank and file ; and I 
think that before we attempt to suggest even to the 
Legislature that we shall have a bi-partisan Police 
Board, or four Police Commissioners, two of each 
party, or before we trust the entire affairs of the 
Police Department to one man, whose appointment we 
know nothing of, we should pause and ask the Legis- 
lature to find out if the charges that have been made 
are true. I believe that nine-tenths of the people of 
this city believe that they are true, to a large extent, 
and I think it should be known and ascertained before 
we recommend any definite change." 


" As a member of this Chamber I think I would be 
as jealous as any other member here to bar the door 
against the possibility of the introduction of any poli- 
tical questions into the Chamber. I think that it 
would be very dangerous ground ; but I think if, as 
merchants and citizens of New York and Brooklyn, 
having an interest in that which is for the benefit of 
the mercantile interests, and the furtherance and main- 
tenance of the position that we have now, we keep 


silent when these great questions are being determined, 
we should be recreant to the trust that has been re- 
posed in us, and to the position which we have always 
claimed to be in, that is, to be leaders in matters per- 
taining to commerce and to commercial interests, and 
that we virtually would be taking a back seat. 

" Now I am one of those who hold that absolutely, 
from A to Z, politics has nothing to do with municipal 
affairs, nothing whatever. I cannot understand how 
a well-administered Police Board or a well-administered 
Fire Department has anything to do with the Demo- 
cratic or Republican conditions as they obtain in 
national affairs. I cannot understand how under any 
circumstances we as merchants allow them to inter- 
fere with the management of our own business. And 
when we have to appoint persons who are to control 
those elements which define and protect our businesses 
and our properties and our lives, I say that when a re- 
organization is to be had, it is imperative upon us as 
thinking men, thinking merchants, fulfilling the obli- 
gations laid upon us, to come together and assert our 
rights and make our influence felt when we are creat- 
ing the system of government which is to create this 
municipal management." 

By the invitation of the Chamber, an address was 
delivered by Joel B. Erhardt, a former Commissioner 
of Police, discussing the bill at that time pending in 
the Legislature, providing for the appointment of a 
non-partisan Board of Police Commissioners for the 
city of New York, from which, however, it would not 
be in place to make extract here as he concerned him- 


self rather with the organization of the Police Depart- 
ment than with the investigation of the police force. 


" It seems to me, after the very careful presentation 
of this case by Colonel Erhardt, that it must be apparent 
to all who are here to-day that the Police Department 
certainly needs looking after in some way. I am in 
favor of this Chamber taking exactly the position that 
is proposed in the resolution that has been submitted, 
and I concur heartily with the remarks that have been 
made by the able Vice-President of this institution 
(Mr. Orr). It seems to me that the Chamber puts 
itself in a position where it suggests. It does not dic- 
tate, it does not say anything except what it says in 
the resolution that has been offered, but it suggests 
that an investigation be made by the proper authorities 
of the State. Now, if a condition prevails such as we 
have reason to believe does prevail, surely it is not 
outside or beyond the limits of this institution or its 
duty, to suggest to the Legislature, as proposed in the 
resolution that has been offered, that a committee be 
appointed and a legislative inquiry be instituted into 
the condition of affairs which we suppose exists in this 
city. Therefore, it seems to me entirely dignified and 
proper that this Chamber, which is made up of tax- 
payers, of men who have large interests at stake here 
— it seems proper that if the Police Department needs 
investigation it is right that this association should 
say so, and therefore I heartily endorse the resolu- 



" I am not at all afraid that we as merchants are 
going out of our proper sphere of duty in arraigning 
these things, and in calling a spade by its name, — a 
spade. When we hear such stories as we do to-day 
about the condition of our Police Department, I feel 
that our liberties and our rights and our property are 
jeopardized, and that the merchants of this city should 
not be afraid to come here and say what they think 
about it. I cannot see any reason why we should not 
as a Chamber express ourselves upon a matter of such 
grave importance as this is to us. Politics once drove 
us into a civil war. We did not hesitate to come here 
and express our opinion on the subject, and array our- 
selves on the side of law and order. Now it is a ques- 
tion whether outlawry and disorder shall prevail in 
this city, or whether the city shall be properly gov- 


" I hope that the question of the police investiga- 
tion, so far as this Chamber is concerned, will be 
voted down ; not because I am not in favor of it, not 
because I do not believe that every member here is in 
favor of correcting the abuses, but because it will 
bring into operation partisan machinery which we as 
a body of merchants who are of all shades of party 
should not be used as a rider for. While I am de- 
cidedly in favor of the division of the elections, I 
think that the other question we had better leave 
alone, for it may result that the manner in which the 


investigation will be carried on will produce another 
meeting of this Chamber, so that we may have to take 
a back step by reason of the investigation not being- 
carried on in a proper manner. I hope the question 
will be voted down." 


" I hope for the honor and credit of the Chamber of 
Commerce that the resolutions which have been read 
will be universally adopted ; we ought not to be par- 
tisans, but we ought to do what we think is our duty 
from a conscientious stand-point as citizens of this 
city, and I therefore hope that the resolutions will be 
unanimously adopted." 

The discussion was concluded by the following ad- 
dress from President Charles Stewart Smith, Vice- 
President Orr in the chair : 

" I have attended nearly every meeting of this 
Chamber for more than twenty-five years, excepting 
when I have been absent from the city. I think I 
have been a member of the Chamber for twenty-seven 
years, and I never knew a resolution offered in this 
Chamber with a design, or that had the effect of be- 
ing a mere partisan movement. I do not think that 
this has any such design or will have any such effect. 
The question which concerns us as merchants, in my 
view, is this : How can laws be made, amended or de- 
feated, which will favorably affect the commerce of 
this city ? Now we have unanimously passed a resolu- 
tion which states that the commercial prosperity of a city 


/s intintatdy connected with its gave niment. I believe that 
absolutely. I believe that our taxes are too high and 
that they may be made lower. I believe that the de- 
partment of the city of New York (the police) that 
spends five millions a year, one-seventh of our whole 
expenses, needs investigation. I believe so from the 
impression that I had before Colonel Erhardt's paper 
was read, and my impression has been very much 
strengthened by that paper. Besides there are 
charges, more or less openly made, of grave irregu- 
larity in this department, not to use the more serious' 
words — bribery and blackmail. Either this is true or 
false, and it concerns the good name of the city to know 
the truth. My friend Dr. Parkhurst believes the worst 
is true. Now I do not think that any merchants in 
New York need be frightened by the cry of 'politics.' 
I believe in a man being a practical politician ; a man 
of convictions can't help it — his duty demands it. I 
claim to be a practical politician, and always hope to 
be ; I am one of those who believe that the ambition 
of politicians should be satisfied by state and national 
politics and not by municipal affairs. (Applause.) Now 
if we want good government in this city we must have 
good laws which affect municipal affairs, and we are 
not to be scared off from the amendment of a bad law 
by the idea that politicians want it or don't want it. 
We don't want it because we are politicians, but we 
want it because we are citizens. I think it is time 
that the citizens of New York had the courage of 
their convictions and rose above partisanship into the 
higher plane of citizenship. Until then we shall have 
no genuine reform in municipal affairs. (Applause.)" 



The resolution of the Chamber of Commerce asking 
for a senatorial investigation of the Police Depart- 
ment was adopted January 25, 1894. In response to 
this action of the Chamber, and in deference to the 
earnest sentiment prevailing in this city, the resolution 
authorizing such investigation was introduced into the 
Senate by Senator Clarence Lexow, January 29th, and 
was in these terms : 

" JV/iereas, It has been charged and maintained that 
the Police Department of the city of New York is cor- 
rupt ; that grave abuses exist in said department ; that 
in said city the laws for the suppression of crime and 
the municipal ordinances and regulations duly en- 
acted for the peace, security, and police of said city 
are not strictly enforced by said Department, and by 
the police force acting thereunder ; that said laws and 
ordinances when enforced are enforced by said De- 
partment and said police force with partiality and 
favoritism, and that such partiality and favoritism 
are the result of corrupt bargains between offenders 
against said laws or ordinances on the one hand, and 
the police force on the other ; that money and prom- 
ises of service to be rendered are given and paid to 


public officials by the keepers or proprietors of gam- 
ing-houses, disorderly houses, liquor saloons, and 
others who have offended or are offending against 
said law or ordinances in exchange for promises of 
immunity from punishment or police interference ; 
and that said Department and said police force, by 
means of threat and otherwise, extort money or other 
valuable consideration from many persons in said city 
as the price of such immunity from police interference 
or punishment for real or supposed violations of said 
laws and ordinances ; and 

Whereas. A strong public sentiment demands of this 
Senate an investigation of all the matters above men- 
tioned for the purpose of remedying and preventing 
such abuses by proper legislation ; now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the President pro tempore of the 
Senate be, and he is hereby authorized to appoint 
seven Senators who shall be a Special Committee of 
this Senate, and one of whom shall be the President 
pro tempore of the Senate, with power and authority 
to investigate all and singular the aforesaid matters 
and charges, and that said Committee have full power 
to prosecute its inquiries in any and every direction 
in its judgment necessary and proper to enable it to 
obtain and report the information required by this 
resolution ; that said Committee report to the Senate 
with such recommendations as in its judgment the 
public interests require. Said Committee is given 
authority to send for persons and papers, to employ a 
stenographer and such counsel and other assistants as 
it may deem necessary, and to hold sessions in the 
cities of New York and Albany. The Committee shall 
conclude its investigation in time to report to the Sen- 


ate on or before February 20, 1894, to the end that 
proper legislation may be enacted to suppress said 
evils. The Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate shall at- 
tend such Committee and serve all subpoenas issued 
thereby, and perform all duties as Sergeant-at-Arms 
of such Committee. And be it further 

'■'■ Ri'solvcd, That it is the sense of this Senate that it 
is contrary to public policy and to the interests of 
good order that any person giving evidence before 
said Committee leading to show that he has been a 
party to the practices above mentioned, should be in- 
dicted or prosecuted upon evidence so given or ad- 
missions so made by him." 

On February 15, 1894, the Senate extended the 
time, within which the Investigating Committee was 
directed to make a report, to the end of the session. 
The time and scope of said Committee was still farther 
extended by subsequent action of the Senate as fol- 
lows : 

" Whereas, It appears that it is impracticable to 
make a report within the time so limited ; therefore 
be it 

^^ Resolved, That the said Committee, be, and it is, 
hereby authorized and empowered to continue the in- 
vestigation in said Senate Document, No. 27, and said 
resolution of February 15, 1894, provided for until the 
next session of the Senate, in January, 1895, and that 
said Committee have all the power and authority dur- 
ing said recess conferred upon it in and by said reso- 


'• Rc'solvc-d, 'riiat said Committee be, and it hereby is, 
authorized and empowered, in its discretion, until the 
next session of the Senate in 1895, to examine and in- 
vestigate the Departments of the Commissioners of 
Charities and Correction, Excise, and the Police Courts 
of the city of New York, or such of them as it may 
deem proper and expedient, with the same power and 
authority, until said next session of the Senate, con- 
ferred upon it by virtue of said resolution, and further 

'■'■Resolved, That such Committee be instructed to 
report at the next session of the Senate, and not later 
than January 15, 1895." 

The Committee authorized by this resolution was 
constituted as follows : 

Senators Lexow, O'Connor, Robertson, Pound, Sax- 
ton, Cantor, and Bradley. 

The following telegram was received here almost 
immediately after the names of the Investigating Com- 
mittee were announced, indicating their readiness to 
undertake their work, or at least their curiosity to 
come down and inspect our work : 

" Senate Committee to Investigate Police Depart- 
ment of New York will meet at the Hotel Metropole 
Friday evening at four o'clock. Like to have you 
present, and ready to suggest names of counsel to 
conduct the investigation, from which the Committee 
may make its selection. ^Ve will be ready to hear 
testimony Saturday at ten a.m. 

"Clarence Lexow, Chairtnan." 


The above notification was sent to the Chamber of 
Commerce, to the Board of Trade, and to the Society 
for the Prevention of Crime. 

The Committee made their first appearance in town 
on the evening of February ist, and convened in the 
parlor of the Hotel Metropole, a number of gentlemen 
interested in the investigation — among others, Messrs. 
Charles Stewart Smith, Darwin R. James, Gustav 
Schwab, and myself — being admitted to the confer- 
ence. Probably none of us ever attended a gathering 
so critical in its character that was so absolutely un- 
interesting and hopeless. After the Committee had 
disposed themselves and been called to order by Mr. 
Lexow, the Chairman stated that they were a Sena- 
torial Committee of Investigation, and that they were 
now present rn their judicial capacity, and called upon 
Mr. Smith, as representative of the Chamber which 
had requested the investigation, to state his case. 
Mr. Smith courteously replied that he had no case, 
but supposed the Committee had come down to make 
one. The Senators gave quiet token of a sense of 
rebuff and of having their feelings crumpled. 

" Then certainly Dr. Parkhurst has a case ? " said 
Chairman Lexow. 

With possibly less urbanity than had been exhibited 
by Mr. Smith, I replied that I not only had no case, 
but that I had serious misgivings as to the wisdom of 
their coming down to New York anyway. 

When we remember the cordial relations which were 


subsequently established, it is almost ludicrous to re- 
call the dubious and tentative way in which we felt of 
each other that preliminary evening. 

Up to that time the Senators had had not the slightest 
inkling or suspicion of what they had come down for. 
They had heard a good deal about the fault that some 
of us had been finding with the police force, and they 
imagined that all they had to do was to put in two 
days a week for the next three weeks (or till the 20th 
of February) sizing up the researches of the Society 
for the Prevention of Crime. In other words, they 
had come down, not to investigate the Police Depart- 
ment, but to investigate our investigation of it. At 
a late hour the Committee adjourned, in a distinctly 
interrogative frame of mind. 

The session held the day following was of the same 
general complexion, only rather more so. Clear in- 
timations of distrust were expressed by some of us, 
and the Committee was politely reminded that there 
had been a previous committee sent down from Albany 
on a similar errand, and that when the inquisition be- 
gan to grow interesting, the committee was "called 
off." We ventured to suggest whether there was any 
danger of history repeating itself. We none of us 
wanted to show any disrespect to our visiting states- 
men, but we had scruples against so far committing 
ourselves to the senatorial wave as to run the risk of 
being swamped if the tide should happen to go out to 
sea. We knew we had been working two years in ac- 


complishing what little we had, and that it would take 
these seven Senators, many of them from remote parts 
of the State, and as ignorant of the details of the 
situation as though they had been born on the Pacific 
Slope, more than eighteen days (they were, by the 
terms of their resolution, to make their report to the 
Senate on or before the 20th of February) to get to 
the real inwardness of our Police Department. (It 
might be remarked parenthetically that they sat for 
nearly a year, and even then stopped before they were 

We must not make too long a story of this. We 
were troubled not only by the limitations of time im- 
posed by the senatorial resolution, but even after the 
Committee came to a realizing sense of the fact that 
anything like a thorough investigation meant pro- 
longed work on their own parts, and an extension of 
time beyond the date fixed by the Senate, we had to 
confront the troublesome question of counsel. The 
name of almost every prominent lawyer in the city was 
canvassed. No one seemed anxious to touch the case. 
Some of those who were approached questioned the 
sincerity of the Committee. Some doubted if a case 
could be made against the police. Some were afraid 
of incurring the displeasure of Tammany Hall. In 
some instances there was hesitancy to believe that 
counsel's fees would ever be paid, it being remembered 
that one legal gentleman who had served in a similar 
capacity had never had his bill honored by the State, 


and there was some reasonable question whether Gov- 
ernor Flower would ever endorse an appropriation bill 
that looked to the exploiting of Tammany Hall. In 
almost all the above instances Mr. Goff s name had 
been mentioned as associate counsel, but his phenom- 
enal fitness for the position was not at that time suffi- 
ciently suspected to allow of his being largely con- 
sidered for the position of first counsel. The chival- 
rous stand which he had taken in the (kirdner trial, as 
already referred to, as well as the signal ability he at 
that time displayed, easily secured the confidence of 
those of us who had known him in that connection, 
and it came about after a little, that the judgment of 
those, whose opinions weighed in the matter, more 
and more gathered about him, and he became the gen- 
eral choice, subject only to the condition that relations 
mutually satisfactory could be agreed upon between 
him and the members of the Lexow Committee. This 
last, however, was a result not easily compassed. Mr. 
Goff was a Democrat, and five members of the Com- 
mittee were Republicans ; Mr. Goff was obstinate, and 
so were the Committee, and neither trusted the other. 
Aside from all that, there were secret political influ- 
ences at work, of which I have documentary proof in 
my possession, aiming to subordinate the investigation 
to political ends. All of that matter we shall best pass 
over, however. Mr. Smith and myself made a special 
trip to Albany to the end of mediating between Mr. 
Goff and the Committee. He suspected them, and they 


considered him dictatorial. We carried up with us the 
following statement of conditions which Mr. Goff, Mr. 
Smith, and myself had agreed that he ought to insist 
upon : 

" First, that the authority of the Senate to the Com- 
mittee to continue the investigation after the adjourn- 
ment of the Legislature shall be made absolute. 

"Second, that thirty days intervene before the Com- 
mittee give public hearing, and that the sittings there- 
after be as nearly as possible from day to day. 

" Third, that Mr. Goff have privilege of selecting 
the associate counsel, with the approval of the Com- 

" Fourth, that counsel may employ such clerical and 
other assistance as may be deemed necessary in the 
prosecution of the inquiry. 

" Fifth, that the Committee shall furnish ways and 
means to maintain a proper and efficient service dur- 
ing the whole of the inquiry. 

" Sixth, that counsel be not restricted or limited in 
the scope of the investigation, but shall be free to 
push all lines of inquiry which may be relevant or 
pertinent to the letter and spirit of the resolution of 
the committee." 

We told Mr. Lexow, in Albany, that if the terms of 
agreement, as drawn up by us gentlemen, seemed to 
him stringent, he must remember that they were 
drafted by men who were breathing an atmosphere of 
utter distrust in him and in all of his Committee. We 
told them that thev could trust Mr. (ioff, and then we 


came back to New Vork aiul lokl Mr. Golf that he 
could trust them. 

The question was finally settled on a critical Satur- 
day morning in Mr. Goff's ofifice. Mr. Smith, Mr. 
Goff, and myself will doubtless always remember the 
scene. Mr. Goff recently described it graphically at a 
public dinner. Mr. Smith drove and I coaxed, and 
between us both the noble Irishman succumbed, and 
the destiny of the Senatorial Investigating Commit- 
tee was settled. 

The Sutherland episode it is perhaps just as well 
not to rehearse. W. A. Sutherland, Esq., an honorable 
gentleman and an excellent lawyer, but as ignorant of 
the situation here in New Vork as though he had been 
reared in South America, was, for inscrutable purposes, 
brought upon the scene from Western New York, to be 
counsel to the Committee, without any precise defi- 
nition of the relations which were to subsist between 
him and Mr. Goff. It threatened at one time to 
wreck the investigation, but little by little his personal 
presence faded out from among us, and his connection 
with the investigation has shrunk into an impalpable 
memory. We attribute to him none but the highest 
motives, but his introduction into the case was, on the 
part of the Committee, or, perhaps, it should be said, 
on the part of certain parties outside who exercised 
a dominating influence over certain members of the 
Committee, a mistake, and for a time sadly rasped 
the nervous irritability of a community that was on the 


constant verge of scepticism touching the investiga- 
tion and all that pertained to it. 

The Senate Committee commenced to take evidence 
on March 9th, limiting themselves, however, for the 
time, to the matter of election frauds. The inquisi- 
tion proper, however, did not begin till Mr. Goff's ap- 
pearance, more than two months later. 

Mr. Delancey NicoU had been retained by certain 
of the police officials to protect their imperilled in- 
terests before the Committee. But as Chairman 
Lexow introduced the investigation by an assertion 
of the position, that the Committee would not be 
bound by the ordinary rules of evidence, and would let 
in everything that would help to illuminate the situa- 
tion, it did very little good for NicoU to " Object ; " 
and either because he found himself hampered by the 
conditions under which he would have to act, or for 
other reasons not understood by the public, he soon 
withdrew. We were all sorry to bid him good-by, for 
his pleasantries relieved the tension of the inquisition 
and infused into the tragic character of the sessions 
those veins of light comedy that helped to variegate 
and to brighten the earnestness of the situation. We 
got along a good deal faster after he had gone, but 
still we missed him. 

The Committee adjourned on April 14th, not to 
convene again until after the adjournment of the 

The Committee reconvened, and earnest solid work 


was commenced on tlie 21st of May, Mr. Golf being 
counsel-in-chief, and Messrs. Frank Moss and \\'illiam 
Travers Jerome being associate counsel. 

The Senate Bill appropriating $25,000 to meet the 
expense of the investigation, had, in the meantime, 
been vetoed by Governor Flower in terms that dis- 
honored his position even if not himself, and that 
showed his moral inability to sink a partisan in tlie 
statesman. The stupendous revelations that have 
issued from the investigation are a sad commentary 
on his gubernatorial blunder, and on the ignomini- 
ous phrases in which he saw fit to put his blunder 
before the public. 

It is foreign to the purpose of our narrative to 
follow the details of the investigation as it pro- 
ceeded from this point, with occasional suspensions, 
until the eve of our recent election. Some refer- 
ence will be made to it in our concluding chapter. 
There is nothing that parallels it, so far as we are 
aware, in the moral history of our race. Although 
the Senate Committee entered upon its work with no 
suspicion of what their work would involve, it faith- 
fully and steadily stood behind Mr. Goff as he merci- 
lessly pressed the inquisitorial probe info the quivering 
vitals of the body politic ; and as for Mr. Goff, al- 
though he committed himself to the service of the 
Committee with exceeding misgiving and only in re- 
sponse to importunate entreaty, once his affirmative 
decision was reached, he threw himself into the work 


with self-regardless and self-consuming devotion, and so 
did honor to his profession, created for himself a nation- 
al name, and unsuspectingly discovered to his fellow- 
citizens the man whom they could agree with enthusias- 
tic accord to elevate to the Recorder's bench. It was 
the Lexow Committee, Mr. Goff, and his associates — 
who, though less conspicuous, were as faithful as he — 
that put the cap-sheaf to the work of the two previous 
years, showed the inwardness of the situation and 
touched the popular heart so deeply that minor con- 
siderations passed out of view, and the intelligent con- 
science of an aroused municipality could bind itself 
together to the nomination and election of a Mayor 
whose only purpose it is to serve God and his city. 



The summer of 1894 found the citizens of New 
York in an unwonted state of agitation and excite- 
ment on the subject of the condition of their muni- 
cipal government, and the character of the individuals 
controlling the operations of its several departments. 

The supineness and lack of public spirit exhibited, 
during a series of years, by those having most at stake, 
had permitted every department of the city govern- 
ment to be filled by the appointees of Tammany Hall. 

This organization, while nominally Democratic, was 
composed of, and controlled by, men drawn together 
by the sole object of fattening upon the control of 
city offices. 

The patronage of such offices was used to reward 
the members of the organization and others who could 
be induced to co-operate with and support them. 

New York City has always been largely Democratic 
in national politics, and Tammany Hall, calling itself 
Democratic, by means of the thoroughness of its or- 

* This chapter has been prepared for us by the great courtesy of 
Joseph Larocque, Esq., President of the Committee of Seventy. 


ganization, had succeeded in having itself recognized 
as the regular Democratic organization of the city, in 
Conventions of the Democratic party. Democrats 
who believed in the principles of their party, and con- 
sidered the success of those principles of paramount 
importance when election-day arrived, while condemn- 
ing the course pursued in city affairs, felt constrained 
to vote their party ticket, fearing that, by pursuing 
any other course, injury might result to the national 

In this way Tammany Hall had been permitted to 
perpetuate, extend, and consolidate its power. 

Long toleration and success had made its leaders 
bold, and during the six preceding years the charac- 
ter of these appointments to office had steadily dete- 

Notes of warning had been sounded from time to 
time. Mr. Godkin, in the Evening Fost, had called 
attention to the existing conditions and tendencies, 
and to the danger of permitting Grant to be elected 
Mayor, and had day by day endeavored to arouse our 
citizens to a sense of their impending danger ; but 
the citizens were too much occupied with their own 
private affairs to pay much attention to the govern- 
ment of their city. 

About the beginning of 1892, Dr. Parkhurst having 
satisfied himself that a system prevailed, under which, 
in consideration of tribute paid to officials, vice and 
crime were protected by the Police Department, had 


entered upon his crusade. In spite of hostile criti- 
cisms and obstacles of every description interposed in 
his way, Dr. Parkhurst had succeeded in uncovering 
the corruption of the Police Department sufificiently 
to secure the appointment of a Legislative Committee 
of Investigation. 

The Lexow Committee had proceeded day by day, 
in the work of investigation, each day bringing to 
light some new evidence of corruption, until the close 
of the summer of 1894 found the citizens at last 
thoroughly aroused to the necessity of action. 

That conditions of corruption and maladministra- 
tion analogous to those developed in the Police De- 
partment would be found to exist in other Departments 
few doubted. 

The question of the hour was, How could this condi- 
tion be changed ? How could the so-called political 
organization which had secured absolute control of 
the whole machinery of the city government be over- 
thrown ? 

The Democratic party in the city was split up into 
several distinct organizations, all hostile to Tammany 
Hall, and each jealous of the others, and especially 
jealous and distrustful of the Republicans. 

The Republican party itself was not a unit, and, 
judging from the past, w'as not to be relied upon to 
unite with the Democrats opposed to Tammany Hall 
in support of a ticket put in nomination by them. 

Tammany Hall ordinarily controlled more votes 


than either the Republicans or the Independent Dem- 

With three tickets in the field Tammany Hall would 
be almost certain to succeed through the thorough- 
ness of its organization, its control of patronage, and 
its power to oppress its opponents. 

Experience has shown that in view of the distrust 
and jealousy entertained by each of the existing politi- 
cal organizations toward the others, there was little 
hope of any overture by one to the others for joint 
action being successful. 

In this situation a number of citizens, realizing the 
vital importance of a concerted effort at the coming 
election on the part of all who desired to overthrow 
the existing corrupt control of public affairs, and to 
place the government of the city in the hands of rep- 
utable, capable men, who could be relied upon to ad- 
minister it on sound, honest, business principles, in the 
last days of August issued a call for a meeting of citi- 
zens, irrespective of party, to be held at the Madison 
Square Garden Concert Hall, on Thursday, September 
6, 1894. 

This call was as follows : 

"New York, August 28, 1894. 
" Dear Sir : You are invited to attend a meeting 
of the citizens of New York, irrespective of party, to 
be held at the Madison Square Garden Concert or 
Recital Hall, on Thursday, September 6th, at eight 



"This meeting is called to consult as to the wisdom 
and practicability of taking advantage of the present 
state of public feeling, to organize a citizens' move- 
ment for the government of the city of New York, 
entirely outside of party politics, and solely in the in- 
terest of efficiency, economy, and the public health, 
comfort, and safety. 

"It is believed that the people of the city are tired 
of the burden of inefficiency, extravagance, and plunder, 
and understand that a city, like a well-ordered house- 
hold, should be managed solely in the best interests 
of its people, and to this end should be entirely di- 
vorced from party politics and selfish personal ambi- 
tion or gain. 

W. Bayard Cutting, 
Charles S. Smith, 
George F. Baker, 
Charles Butler, 
James Speyer, 
G. G. Williams, 
W. L. Strong, 
C. Vanderbilt, 
William H. Webb, 
J. Harsen Rhoades, 
Alfred S. Heidelbach, 
Morris K. Jessup, 
Williarfi Mertens, 
W. E. Dodge, 
H. C. Fahnestock, 
Hugh N. Camp, 

H. Cillis, 

George Macculloch Miller, 
Julius J. Frank, 
Woodbury Langdon, 
Henry Rice, 

F. D. Tappen, 

J. Crosby Brown, 
Max J. Lissauer, 
John P. Townsend, 
William Ottmann, 
Joseph Larocque, 
George W. Quintard, 
M. S. Fecheimer, 

G. Norrie, 

James M. Constable, 
Gustav H. Schwab, 
S. Frissell." 



On the date named, in response to this call, there 
was a gathering of some hundreds of citizens. 

The meeting was organized by the selection of a 
Chairman and Secretary. 

Letters were read from many prominent citizens 
who were unable to be present, expressing sympathy 
with the objects of the meeting. There was an inter- 
change of views, and speeches were made by several 
of those present. An address was unanimously adopt- 
ed, which was as follows, viz.: 

" To the People of the City of New York, Regardless of 
Party : 

" Convincing proofs of corruption in important muni- 
cipal departments of this city have been presented ; 
inefficiency, ignorance, and extravagance in public 
affairs are apparent, and business principles in the 
conduct of the affairs of this niunicipality are set 
aside and neglected for private gain and partisan ad- 
vantage. The present government of this city is a 
standing menace to the continued commercial su- 
premacy of the metropolis, and strongly concerns the 
welfare of every family in the whole country, for there 
is no hamlet in the land that the influence of New 
York City does not reach for good or evil. 

The time has come for a determined effort to bring 
about such a radical and lasting change in the ad- 
ministration of the city of New York as will insure 
the permanent removal of the abuses from which we 
suffer, and the management of the affairs of the city 
as a well-ordered household, solely in the interests of 
its people. Municipal government should be entirely 


divorced from party politics, and selfisli, personal am- 
bition or gain. The economical, honest, and business- 
like management of municipal affairs has nothing to 
do with questions of national or State politics. We 
do not ask any citizen to give up his party on national 
or State issues, but to rise above partisanship to the 
broad plane of citizenship, and to unite in an earnest 
demand for the nomination and election of fitting can- 
didates, whatever their national party affiliations, and 
to form a citizens' movement for the government of 
this city entirely outside of party politics, and only in 
the interest of efficiency, economy, and public health, 
comfort, and safety. 

" We pledge our active co-operation with all other 
organizations of this city holding the same purposes 
and aims, recognizing that only through a combined 
and well-organized effort of all citizens who desire 
good government can that object be attained." 

The meeting also adopted the following resolution, 

^^ Resolved, That a Committee of Seventy, of which 
the Chairman and the Secretary shall be members, be 
appointed by the Chair, with full power to confer with 
other Anti-Tammany organizations, and to take such 
action as may be necessary to further the objects of 
this meeting, as set forth in the call therefor, and the 
address adopted by this meeting." 

Under the authority conferred by this resolution 
the Chair appointed the " Committee of Seventy." 


Its membership represents every shade of opinion 
in national politics and all classes of citizens. 

The first meeting of the " Committee of Seventy " 
was held at the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce 
of the State of New York, on September 19, 1894. 

An organization was then perfected, and an Execu- 
tive Committee and a Finance Committee appointed. 

Full powers were conferred upon the Executive Com- 
mittee to carry out the objects of the organization. 

The Executive Committee, like the General Com- 
mittee, was composed of men of all shades of opinion 
on national questions ; all agreeing, however, on one 
point, viz., That no question of national politics was 
involved or should enter into the administration of 
city affairs. 

They proceeded to frame a platform on which they 
could all unite, and which any candidates whom they 
might put in nomination must accept. 

This platform was as follows, viz.: 


" We reiterate the following principles, contained in 
the Address to the People of the City of New York, 
heretofore issued. 

'■'■ Municipal government should be entirely divorced from 
party politics and from selfish personal ambition or gain. 

'•'' The economical y honest, and business like management of 
municipal affairs has nothing to do with questions of na- 
tional or State politics. 


" We do not ask any citizen to give up his party on 
national or State issues, but to rise above partisan- 
sliip to the broad plane of citizenship, and to unite in 
an earnest demanel for the nomination and election of 
fitting candidates, whatever their national party affili- 

" The government of the city of New York, in the 
hands of its present administrators, is marked by cor- 
ruption, inefficiency, and extravagance ; its municipal 
departments are not conducted in the interests of the 
city at large, but for private gain and partisan advan- 

"All classes of citizens, rich and poor alike, suffer 
under these conditions. This misgovernment endan- 
gers the health and morality of the community, and de- 
prives its citizens of the protection of life and property 
to which they are entitled. 

" The call goes to the citizens of New York to face 
the dangers that confront them, and resolutely to de- 
termine that these conditions shall cease, and that the 
affairs of the city shall henceforth be conducted as a 
well-ordered, efficient, and economical household, in 
the interests of the health, comfort, and safety of the 

" We denounce as repugnant to the spirit and 
letter of our institutions any discriminations 
among citizens because of race or religious 

" We demand that the public service of this city be 
conducted upon a strictly non-partisan basis ; that all 
subordinate appointments and promotions be based on 
Civil Service E.xaminations, and that all examinations, 


mental and physical, be placed under the control of 
the Civil Service Commission. 

" We demand that the quality of the Pid'lic Schools be 
improved, their capacity enlarged, and proper playgroinids 
provided, so that every child within the ages required by 
law shall have admission to the Schools, the health of the 
children be protected, and that all such tnodern improve- 
ments be introduced as will make our Public Schools the 
equal of those in any other city in the world. 

" We insist that the property already acquired by the city 
under the Small Park Act shall be promptly devoted to the 
purposes of this acquisition, so that our people in the dense- 
ly populated parts of our city shall fully enjoy the benefits 
of such expenditures. 

" We 7irge greater care and thoroughness in the e?iforce- 
ment of the health laws, and demand the establishment of 
more efiicient safeguards against disease. 

" We favor the establishment of adequate public baths 
and lavatories for the promotion of cleanliness and in- 
creased public comfort, at appropriate places throughout the 

" We demand the adoption of a thorough system of street 
cleaning, which shall also include a proper disposition of 
the refuse and garbage, so that our harbor may be kept free 
from obstruction and defilement and the neighboring shores 
clear of offal, thus conforming to the methods in other great 

" We call for increased rapid transit facilities in this 

" We call for the improvement of the docks and 
water-fronts of our great maritime city, so that it 
shall enjoy the advantages to which it is entitled by 
its unique position with its unrivalled harbor. 


" We heartily favor the separation of municipal from 
State and national elections, and a larger measure of 
home rule for cities. 

" We appeal to the people of this city to cast 
aside party prejudice and to combine with us 
In a determined effort to elect candidates 
chosen solely with reference to their ability 
and integrity, and pledged to conduct the af- 
fairs of this city on a strictly non-partisan 
basis, and who will, as far as may be in their 
power, insure good government to the city 
of New York." 

The Executive Committee appointed a Conference 
Committee to meet with the representatives of all 
other Anti-Tammany organizations. Many confer- 
ences were held and views exchanged as to the gen- 
eral policy to be pursued most likely to secure union 
and success. 

Finally the Executive Committee put in nomina- 
tion candidates for the following offices, viz. : Mayor, 
President of Board of Aldermen, Judge of the Supe- 
rior Court of the City of New York, Sheriff, and two 

Pursuant to a resolution previously adopted the 
gentleman selected as the candidate for Mayor being 
in national politics a Republican, the residue of the 
ticket, with the exception of one of the Coroners, was 
made up of gentlemen who in national politics were 

The nominations so made were approved by the 


General Committee, and finally accepted by all the 
other Anti-Tammany organizations — Democratic and 

Each of the candidates named expressly approved 
of the principles of the platform adopted, and agreed 
to be governed by those principles in the administra- 
tion of his office, if elected, and further, that in mak- 
ing appointments he would be guided by considera- 
tions of character and capacity alone, and not by party 

From the time when these nominations were made 
to the day of election, the Campaign Committee, com- 
posed of the Executive Committee and the Finance 
Committee, gave themselves up to the work of the 
campaign, holding almost daily meetings. Headquar- 
ters were established in a house hired for the purpose, 
in charge of one of their members selected as mana- 
ger, and of their Sub-Committee on publication. 

Frequent conferences were held with representa- 
tives of the various organizations which had accepted 
their candidates, and public meetings were had under 
the auspices of the Committee. 

Information as to the situation was furnished to the 
press from day to day, and reviews of the misleading 
statements of facts and figures, put forth by the Tam- 
many managers, were carefully prepared and given to 
the public. 

A force of watchers at the polls was organized 
under the direction of the Committee, composed 


largely of members of the Good Government Clubs, 
so that each of the 1,141 Election Districts was pro- 
vided on election day with competent and reliable 
watchers, interested to see that the election was fairly 

Proclamations offering rewards for information 
leading to the conviction of offenders against the 
election laws were posted and distributed. 

Paster ballots, containing the names of the candi- 
dates of the Committee, in combination with the can- 
didates of the several political parties for State offices 
and members of Assembly, were distributed to all the 
registered voters in the city by mail, and were fur- 
nished to the various organizations supporting the 
candidates of the Committee, for use on election day. 

No pains were spared to bring to the attention of 
every voter the momentous character of the issues 
involved, and to stimulate his action in support of a 
pure, honest, non-partisan administration of our mu- 
nicipal government. 

These efforts, with the loyal, hearty support of the 
several organizations in sympathy with the move- 
ment inaugurated by the Committee of Seventy, were 
crowned with success on election day. 

The result is full of promise to the friends of good 

By the recent amendments to the Constitution of 
our State under which municipal elections hereafter 
are to be held in different years from State and federal 


elections, the road is made more easy for the election 
in the future of candidates of character and fitness for 
the positions for which they may be put in nomination, 
and for maintaining the administration of our munici- 
pal affairs on a clean, business-like, non-partisan basis. 
To accomplish these results, however, untiring vig- 
ilance, on the part of all interested in the cause of 
good government, is indispensable. 



The roots of this entire movement, as it has been 
thus far portrayed, have been in the churches and 
synagogues. The first note struck was to the con- 
science, and that note has been sounded persistently 
through to the end. It has seemed, therefore, proper 
to introduce at this point, the discourse preached 
from my pulpit on November 4th — two days before 
our recent election ; not at all because of any novelty 
in the facts which it presents, but because it aims to 
string those facts upon a thread of eternal principle, 
and to posit the possibility of thorough reconstruc- 
tion, socially and municipally, upon the grounds occu- 
pied by the Prophets and Apostles. 


" Turn ye again now every one from his evil ivay, and 
from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the 
Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and 
ever." — Jeremiah xxv. 5. 

The circumstances under which we meet this morn- 
ing afford all in the way of preface that the occasion 


requires. Those who understand the situation best, 
are the ones who will most clearly appreciate the se- 
riousness of the crisis through which, not only munici- 
pally, but also nationally, we are just now passing ; 
and we may say not only nationally, but even univer- 
sally, for tangible evidence of the anxious interest 
taken in this struggle has reached us, not only from 
England and the Continent of Europe, but from Asia, 
and from as far away as Tasmania, away around on 
the opposite side of the globe. 

As the conflict has progressed and the issue has 
been made clear, it has become evident that the forces 
which are now contending with each other here are 
forces broader in their scope and longer in their in- 
tent than such as concern themselves with any single 
town or year ; rather that they are the energies of 
good and evil — as long as the years and as wide as 
the world — which everywhere confront each other, 
but which just now are marshalled in concentrated 
warfare upon the arena of our own municipality. 

These things have been stated here before, you will 
remember, but their prior statement was open to the 
charge of being mixed with elements of theory and 
supposition. But the supposititious stage is past. We 
stand down now on the clear, open ground of absolute 
demonstration. The facts in the case are known. 
They are known and they are appreciated, and the 
grounds of conviction lie out easily in sight and are 
matter of record. So that to-day when we say that 


the pcrsonitrl of our city government is a (quotation 
from every species of criminal that rotten civiHzation 
is able to produce, or the devil able to invent, we are 
simply asserting a commonplace that the moral intel- 
ligence of the entire country is prepared enthusiasti- 
cally to consent to, and that can be stated to-day with 
no more fear of its provoking a presentment or an in- 
dictment, than though I were to repeat the Sermon 
on the Mount, or the Ten Laws that Moses brought 
down from the top of Sinai. It has taken a good 
while to do it, but it is done and will stay done. His- 
tory can never go back of it, and we are by so much 
nearer the millennium in consequence of it. How long 
it will take to cover the balance of the distance is not 
the question. The river ends in the sea, and the river 
is making ground. Praise ye the Lord ! 

And it is this moral property that makes out the 
distinctness of the present issue. The outlines of the 
conflict are as sharply marked as they were in the 
duel waged between Christ and Satan in the wilder- 
ness, and for the same reason. There is nothing in 
this campaign that does not come home as directly 
and easily to an ignorant man as it does to an in- 
structed one ; to a foreigner, as it does to a native ; 
to a poor man, as it does to a wealthy one. It is not 
a matter of capital ; it is not a question of policy ; it 
is not an affair of thinking, reasoning, or philosophis- 
ing. It is a question of what is right and what is 
wrong. Conscience is the one only particular faculty 


that comes just now into play ; and the moral element 
is the strength of the whole movement and has been 
all the way through. That is why we none of us were 
obliged to make a specific study of political economy 
before entering into the conflict, except to the extent 
that the Commandments make out the biggest half of 
any system of political economy that has vigor enough 
to hold its own and win its way. That is why the 
self-respecting element of community has all come 
into solid coalition in this movement with the under- 
standing that all side considerations shall be postponed. 
When righteousness has been establisjied in this city 
the air will still bristle with difficult questions with- 
out doubt, and questions that conscience alone will 
not suffice to answer save as it is aided by experience, 
by research, and by careful balancing of counter-con- 
siderations ; but there is nothing of that here. There 
is nothing in the movement immediately in hand that 
calls for anything just now, or that will call for any- 
thing this week, but a conscience to feel the right, and 
a moral purpose to carry the discernment of conscience 
into effect. In other words, avoid it as you like, and 
wince under it as you please, the election in this city 
next Tuesday will practically be nothing more nor less 
than a public vote on the Ten Commandments. 

The history of this city, therefore, has reached a 
point of moral crisis. The general facts in the case 
are not so much better known than they were two 
years ago, but those facts have been so pared down to 


sharp edges and acute angles that there is no longer 
any way to avoid seeing them, and have been so 
pushed into the tissue of the general consciousness 
that that consciousness is stirred to reflection and 
compelled to action. There is nothing truer than the 
statement that has been reiteratedly made by parties 
that are themselves involved in these iniquities, that 
matters are in no worse shape now than they have 
been for a good many years. More than two years 
ago people well versed in the municipal situation were 
saying, " These things are all true, but what are you 
going to do about it?" The staggering point in the 
situation was its moral lifelessness — pricking the con- 
science produced no pain. We were suffering from 
ethical bankruptcy. We were being ruled by beasts, 
and yet it did not hurt our feelings. Our moral cuticle 
had become seared down to the situation. 

I am not speaking now of the conscience of our 
rulers — take them as they run, they haven't any ; at 
least any that is available for ethical effects. We 
have it from them directly that they cannot under- 
stand what this that we call " moral indignation " is 
all about. All that crime means to them is the liabil- 
ity of being sent to Sing Sing for it. With them re- 
morse is a lost art. I am not saying that there are 
not exceptions to this. I am simply saying that, taken 
as a whole, the herd that is preying on us is composed 
of a lot of moral incapables that have breathed iniquity, 
eaten iniquity, drunk iniquity, and bartered in iniquity 


SO long that to them iniquity is actually the normal 
condition of things, as propriety and decency are nor- 
mal to the estimate of people that live righteously. 

But that is not the worst part of the matter by any 
manner of means. The worst part of the matter is 
that it has struck a kind of moral paralysis into the 
heart of community at large. Now this is the moral 
mire out of which we are slowly emerging. One of 
the most thrilling experiences which I have had in this 
entire campaign was the enthusiastic applause which 
greeted a public utterance that I recently made to the 
Ten Commandments. The idea of a big New York audi- 
ence, in the heat of a political campaign, giving three 
cheers for the Decalogue, is — I don't know what it is — 
there is no word that will quite cover the situation. 

Now conceive to yourselves the strategic character 
of the moment, and the unspeakable opportunity that 
will this week be at the command of the God-fearing 
people of this town, of taking this intensified condition 
of moral sentiment and sticking a pin in it and making 
it a permanent fixture of our municipal character and 
the character of our municipal government. Here is 
a chance to lift the chariot wheels out of the muddy 
ruts of human villainy and filth, and set them down on 
the hard, ringing pavement of the mind and will of 
God. That is what this election stands for — and it is 
all that it stands for. That is why we bring this mat- 
ter into the church, and there is no place where it is 
so perfectly and appropriately at home as in the 


church. I declare to you that I cannot understand 
how there can be a preacher in this city, provided 
only he has crawled far enough out of his clerical 
shell to know what is going on, and provided he has 
not been so celestially sublimated as to be oblivious 
of the terrestrial condition that our holy religion is 
given for no other purpose but to take hold of and 
improve, can let slip the super-eminent opportunity of 
sounding a tone that shall transfix the situation, and 
pierce to the vitals of the individual and collective 

New York is going to be morally exalted this week 
or it is going to be morally blighted. There can be 
done in one week of crisis what cannot be done in an 
entire year when there is no crisis on hand. The cir- 
cumstances here in New York to-day are no different 
from those recorded in the Old Testament times. 
There is just as much reason why every preacher in 
this city — Protestant, Catholic, and Hebrew — should be 
a Jeremiah to-day as there was why Jeremiah should 
be a Jeremiah in his day, dealing Titanic blows upon 
the organized iniquity of the Baal-worshippers and 
treacherous scoundrels, who trod under foot precisely 
the same laws that are being crushed into the earth 
by the conscienceless and godless criminals who are 
determining our city's history and destiny. There is 
just as much politics in the way Jeremiah handled his 
times as there is in the way I am handling our times, 
and there is not a shred of politics in either. 


If I cared to step aside and say anything just 
now about the matter of a revival of religion, I 
would declare that even the possibilities of a revival 
are limited by the responsiveness of the conscience 
that the reviving spirit has to deal with. Conscience 
lies at the basis of the entire situation. Preaching is 
effective only as there is a responsive conscience to 
preach to. The Holy Ghost can work only as there 
is a conscience to work upon. When I come before 
a congregation I feel that there is no opportunity for 
effect save as there is that in the hearts of the hearers 
upon which words of truth and admonition can hook 
themselves. There can be only so much moral power 
in the speaker as there is moral hook in the hearer. 
The power in the pulpit is measured by the conscience 
in the pew. I assure you there is nothing we preachers 
feel so crowding a need of right in the church as con- 
science ; the sharp, sensitive response to that which 
is righteous ; and now here is an opportunity this 
week, by a single consummate stroke, to make right- 
eousness a big reality to the stimulated sensibilities 
of an aroused community, and to send forth a tone 
that shall collect the scattered notes of human esti- 
mate into a sublime chord that shall go ringing through 
the city and country, and down the years. 

Let us also clearly understand, just at this point 
of our discussion, that it is not a question whether 
things have not for a considerable time past been 
equally as bad as they are now. That is one of the 


lines of defence that is being pursued by certain of 
the wretched official protectors of public virtue 
against whom our warfare is directed. The District- 
Attorney's office — the pivot upon which, according to 
repute, there hinges as much in the way of travesty 
of justice as in any other single department of our 
city government — the District - Attorney's office, 
through its chief exponent, has just given the public to 
understand that the present situation is substantially 
identical with what it has been for a number of pre- 
vious administrations. Supposing that it be true — we 
may have our own opinion as to whether it is true — 
but supposing it to be true, that does not touch the 
matter. Supposing there were an open cesspool 
down on City Hall Square, and that it had been there 
for ten years, yes, for a hundred years, and that as 
the principles of sanitation began to take scientific 
shape, men should begin to look more and more quiz- 
zically at that cesspool, and to resent with increasing 
seriousness its mal-odorousness and its fetid and ty- 
phoid-fever-producing properties ; to what degree do 
you think it would satisfy the intelligent sense of 
community to be told that it was an indignity to the 
pool to find fault with it, that it smelt no worse, and 
caused no more mortality than it had been doing for 
half a century ? Now that is exactly what we have 
down there on City Hall Square, an open cesspool 
(moral cesspool), and its fatality is not diminished nor 
its ethical stench sweetened by its having said for it 


that it has been polluting the air for ten years, or 
even for a hundred years. There are developing in 
community, certain strenuous convictions as to mu- 
nicipal sewerage, and we are trying simply to con- 
trive a system of piping that shall drain that politi- 
cal quagmire, and see if we cannot get rid of the 
odor, the mire, and the fever-germs ; and the length of 
time that it has been lying there is neither interesting 
nor pertinent. 

I want now, that you who are parents should reflect 
upon what all this municipal condition means in its 
relation to your children. You were told here, almost 
three long years ago, that it is your boys that are at 
stake. The influences with which the air is saturated 
are boring into and honeycombing the tissue of young 
integrity. That which is wrong cannot be treated as 
though it were right without working in the conscience 
a certain amount of paralysis. There is nothing more 
insidiously fatal to a boy's prospective manhood than 
to gain an early impression that the difference between 
a straight line and a line that is not quite straight, is 
more an affair of imagination than it is of fact. Now 
a law that is simply set up to be played with is nothing 
more nor less than a conscience-pulverizer. A man 
who is in very close alliance with the liquor interest 
in this town, but who, for all that, believes in law and 
in its enforcement, and who appreciates distinctly the 
fact that there is nothing that will abstract from a 
young person moral virility like letting him imagine 


that law is not a fact but a fiction, recently told me 
this anecdote of his own boy : 

" Father," said he, " that liquor saloon is open and 
it is Sunday, and the law says it shall not be open 
Sunday. Father, what is law anyway ? " 

Now the budding conception in that little chap's 
mind, that law really means nothing in particular, was 
a small shove toward his perdition. The possibilities 
of ruin, temporal and everlasting, are involved in any 
conception of law that does not load it with ingredi- 
ents of the immutable and the eternal. And because 
in this community law is not handled as though it 
had its grounds in the eternal, nor truth dealt with 
other than as nine-pins set up to be bowled down, nor 
principle in general treated as possessing the power of 
an endless life and abiding from everlasting to ever- 
lasting, character is despoiled of its virility, and vivid 
conscience and muscular integrity are tending to be- 
come a matter of memory and of record only, not a 
present potency working among us in stern but sus- 
taining imperialism. 

But still more productive of young irresolution and 
degeneracy is the presence in our midst of men who 
are officially exalted, but yet whom we know to be 
personally vile — individual incarnations of every im- 
aginable breach of commandment, whether of God or 
man. It does not lie within the range of possibility 
that we should have a mayor, or judges, or the heads 
of important and responsible departments who are 
either themselves individually tainted, or who are in 


transparent and eminent sympathy with those who are 
so tainted, without that fact operating with the power 
of an irresistible and incurable blight in particular 
upon young men who grow up with an instinctive re- 
spect for high official position, and who, therefore, 
cannot contemplate the occupant of such a position, 
however confessedly vicious and contemptible, without 
to a degree identifying the position and the man who 
fills it, and letting some of the dignity of the place in- 
sinuate itself into his conception of the functionary, 
and varnishing with the semblance of grace that func- 
tionary's dishonor. When you tell over the inventory 
of the murderers, thieves, perjurers, bribe-takers, de- 
faulters, drunkards, and libertines that are discharg- 
ing high official function in this city to-day, remember 
that each of them helps to make murder, theft, de- 
bauchery, and all the rest, a little less repulsive to the 
moral taste of your dear boy ; and when you go to 
the polls on Tuesday, think that over. 

But it is not only as parents, but as patriots also 
that you have to consider this matter. You cannot 
look intently and passionately into the situation of 
our own city at this juncture without feeling that in a 
very true and momentous sense the condition and 
prospects of the entire country are implicated in it. 
There is not a town of any considerable size in the 
Union that is not going to be either ennobled or de- 
graded by our own municipal issue on Tuesday. Just 
that relation is appreciated, and in many instances 
with painful intensity. If we weaken Satan's grip on 


New York this week, tliere are anxious spirits scat- 
tered all through the country that will be saying on 
Wednesday morning : " Well ! if they can do it in New 
York, we can do it in our town." And they will do it. 
A successful blow struck for God and the right here 
on Manhattan Island will create a thousand echoes 
far and wide across the continent, and mean politics 
will look meaner, and filthy politicians will look filthier, 
and elevated statesmanship will appear grander to the 
mind and heart of every honest American. Every- 
thing is possible when once you have seen it done. 
There are no lessons like object-lessons. It is simple 
statement of historic fact to say that there are hun- 
dreds of movements, similar to the one here in prog- 
ress, that have been initiated at the impulse of the 
movement here, and every one of these movements is 
going to precipitate itself in a long leap toward con- 
summation if they see the efforts of this city culminat- 
ing in success. His must be a dead soul — a hundred 
times dead — that is not thrilled with the gigantic im- 
pulse of such a consideration. It is as though you were 
able to put yourself at the heart of this great body 
politic and produce an influence that should strengthen 
the pulse-beat in each separate vein and artery of the 

This reference to the national bearings of our pres- 
ent situation suggests a point which needs to be made 
carefully, but which I am sure can be made safely if it 
is made outspokenly. One special phase of current 
national anxiety has its grounds in the wide preva- 


lence at home and abroad of what is scientifically 
known as anarchy ; and when it was intimated some 
days ago that there was a movement among certain 
anarchists in this city, looking to a combination for 
the replacement of our present city government by 
one that was better, the instant conclusion in certain 
quarters appears to have been that it was the latest 
instance out of Beelzebub trying to cast out Beelze- 
bub. Without having taken a brief for the anarchists, 
and with no intention at all of pleading for their ec- 
centric method of reforming history, I submit to your 
consideration that there are anarchists, and there are 
anarchists. The genius of anarchy you understand, 
of course, is nothing more nor less than defiance of 
law. Now while clearly there cannot be very much 
said in behalf of a system that starts with the aban- 
donment of all system, yet defiance of law may be 
overt, or it may be covert. It may parade with red 
flags, or it may have the parade and omit the flags. 
As a general principle the red-bannered procession is 
to be preferred, for then you know precisely who is 
who, and what is what. If they omit the banners 
they may still be anarchists, but you may take them 
for nuns marching to a convent, or monks trooping to 
a monastery, or mayors, aldermen, judges, and commis- 
sioners administering a city government. It clears 
the air, therefore, and simplifies matters vastly if they 
go well badged. Now if there is anything that the 
Senate Committee has succeeded in demonstrating to 
this city, particularly during the week past, and yes- 


terday, it is that the corporation of political reptiles 
that is administering this city, has for its genius, con- 
tempt for everything that is fixed and determinate, 
and that the outward ceremonies of legality under 
which it conducts its operations are simply the thin 
and sneaking disguise with which it seeks to mask its 
anarchical defiance of everything which is statutory ; 
in other words, that the nerve and tissue of the sys- 
tem is anarchy in its essence, and of as pure a type 
as ever was produced in Chicago or St. Petersburg, 
but unencumbered by bunting, tricked out in the mil- 
linery of legality, lacking in the ingenuousness of anar- 
chy of the ordinary type, but on that account more 
perilous because more insidious, as man shrinks with 
colder horror from a slimy serpent than he does from 
a frank and honest gorilla. Anarchy of the ingenuous 
order plants hard blows upon the mailed front of civil- 
ization ; anarchy of the Tammany type is every whit 
as defiant of law, but clandestinely introduces its sub- 
tile virus into the tissue of civilization. Oh ! the red- 
flagged style is vastly to be preferred. 

But there is that in the situation which extends our 
thoughts even beyond national frontiers. It is not 
American conceit or bravado that prompts us to feel 
that cis-Atlantic civilization is appointed to play an 
important role in the history and development of the 
nations at large ; but we are not as a nation going to 
be able permanently to communicate impulses that we 
do not ourselves nationally incarnate. We are not 
going to be permanently able with our morals and our 


religion to work foreign results of a finer type than 
those which we are able by the same morals and re- 
ligion to produce at home. What we are, will be the 
measure of what we can do, nationally exactly as much 
as individually. The heathen have already begun to 
be suspicious of religion imported from America, 
which shows itself under such hideous forms of de- 
velopment in so many visitors from America ; and if 
America, if New York, has not in its Christianity virile 
tension sufficient to subdue its own heathen and pro- 
tect itself from its own outlaws, it will lack just those 
credentials needed to secure its hospitable reception 
and entertainment in Pekin and Madagascar. 

In every aspect, then, under which we may survey 
the situation, our hearts beat with high anticipation in 
the same instant in which we tremble with unspeak- 
able solicitude. If a few loop-holes of insight, that 
have been almost accidentally gained into the un- 
fathomed depths of pollution in which our munici- 
pality is officially reeking, have brought to view so 
much that is loathsome and unutterable, what must 
we imagine would be the full story of dishonor, if it 
could be told in the horror of all its details? And one 
thing that we have to remember is, that with the nation 
as with the individual, sin, when it is finished, bringeth 
forth death. There is no power, even in the might of 
God, to recover a people, and set it again upon a high 
track of destiny, when it has once reached a certain 
point of moral decay. History declares that, with a 
directness and with an emphasis of reiteration that is 

OUR Fi(;irr wnii tammany 283 

ovcrwhc'liniiig and appalling. Vou can love your coun- 
try and work for it, and pray and plead for it, but 
there is a stage of rottenness which, when once reached, 
the country is damned already beyond the power of 
the Holy Ghost to do anything for it. If you do not 
fancy that way of stating it, you can look into your 
Bibles or examine profane history generally, and find 
the .matter put, perhaps, in a manner more to your 
liking ; but the )nattcr is the same. National sin 
means national poison, and the unstemmed progress 
of national disease means eventual national death ; it 
always has and always will, and God will make no ex- 
ception in behalf of the Western Continent. If there 
is no way of staying the tide of pollution that is set- 
ting with so full and oozy a current, as has been repul- 
sively demonstrated in our own town, if, I say, there is 
no way of stopping it, there is not much remaining for 
us to do but wait for destiny and pray for the Lord to 
take us before the year of destiny comes. Although 
I had some lively suspicions as to the real condition 
of affairs when I first spoke to you upon the matter 
two years ago last February, I confess that, at that 
time, my worst presentiments hardly more than grazed 
the actuality as it has since been disclosed ; and I do 
profoundly thank the Lord for the stimulating ob- 
structions that were put in our way by the canting 
hypocrites that whined about the danger of having 
attention drawn to matters that might bruise public 
sensibilities and tarnish the general mind. The lan- 
guage that was used by those filthy Pecksniffs, read in 


the lurid light of recent developments, fills us with 
what I dare call a holy loathing beyond the power of 
all words to express or even suggest. 

Now that is our city government, and what is this 
town going to do with it ? Is there a man in New 
York, provided only he even imagines himself to be 
respectable, that with the case boldly put to his con- 
science, dares stand up and tell even his own heart that 
he is going to vote on the side of municipal dishonor 
and governmental rot? A hundred years from to-day 
history on this side, and on the other side of the At- 
lantic, will be in some measure what the momentous 
issues of this week make it. The country is witness- 
ing us. The nations from afar have diligent eyes fixed 
upon us ; the years to come are going to frame their 
purposes from the material of this week's verdict. 

May the mighty Spirit of God so possess this vast 
metropolis on the coming Tuesday, as to lift us mo- 
mentarily out of the tainted atmosphere we are 
breathing, draw us into visible fellowship with those 
overarching realities that abide through all the days 
and years, reveal to us the pregnant possibilities of 
the supreme moment, and cause the enlightened and 
earnest citizenship of New York so to mass itself upon 
the one grim and muscle-knotted foe that we have to 
meet, that from this time on virtue shall mean more, 
vice be painted blacker, despair seize the beggarly 
mob that have been trying to filch the jewels from our 
municipal crown, and the door be opened to a nobler 
future of American dignity, prosperity, and power. 



Two months have elapsed since election, and we are 
now in a situation to understand with considerable 
clearness, both how much and how little our victory 
denotes. There has been elected to the Mayoralty a 
man with a clean record, and one who did not purchase 
his election by mortgaging his administration either 
to any party or to any individual aspirants. He en- 
tered upon the discharge of his duties untrammelled ; 
he was elected on the platform of non-partisanship, 
and our confidence in the honest obstinacy of the man 
is so entire that we believe he will devote himself 
unswervingly to the work of actualizing the non-par- 
tisan principle. 

Mayor Strong is going to put into the positions of 
administrative and executive power, men whom the 
city will respect. It is almost paralyzing to reflect 
that in the course of six months, if Albany does not 
prove an obstructionist, the administrative boards of 
the city will be filled with men whom we shall be glad 
to honor ; men whom we should not be ashamed to 
recognize or to admit to the intimacies of our circle 
of acquaintance. 


" Excise Board," " Police Board," and the rest are 
expressions that have so long awakened in our minds 
feelings of aversion and of contempt, that it is only 
by a mental strain we can conceive of a situation 
wherein these same terms will be suggestive to us of 
decency, gentlemanliness, and intelligence. That is 
one of the results which we can anticipate with assur- 
ance. Mayor Strong will have to be a different man 
from what he is to-day, and pass under the control of 
influences that he would to-day indignantly spurn, be- 
fore he will knowingly allow any man, whom he be- 
lieves to be knavish and depraved, permanently to 
occupy in the city any official position of trust and 
power. That is a great tribute to render, and it is a 
great expectation to cherish. It will differentiate the 
coming three years from the past three as widely as 
man is differentiated from the voracious beast which 
Tammany has delighted to accept as the symbol of its 
own brutal spirit and purpose. 

Besides the results which have been wrought within 
our own city, there needs to be mentioned, also, the 
impulse which has been given to municipal reform 
throughout the country. There is scarcely a town of 
any considerable size, North, South, East, or West, 
that is not considering the same problems as those 
which are engrossing us. The movement was, to a 
large degree, caught from New York, and the defeat 
of Tammany Hall in November carried with it an im- 
pulse making for the overthrow of any number of 


little, unorganized, anil lUKhristened 'I'ainnianys the 
country through. All of this we are authorized to re- 
joice in and to be grateful over. And it is not because 
we prize accomplished results so lightly, but rather be- 
cause we estimate them so highly, that we desire to see 
them a continuous possession, and are impelled, be- 
fore bringing our volume to a close, to consider cer- 
tain elements in the case that menace our present 
situation, and that threaten to dissipate the glorious 
success consummated on the 6th of November. 

Our municipal victory never could have been gained 
except as the outcome of popular enthusiasm. Now, 
while there is a power in enthusiasm, there is also a 
peril in it ; nothing will coagulate so quickly as blood, 
and nothing chill so readily as enthusiasm. The 
moral temperature of this town marks several de- 
grees under what it was two months ago. We do not 
mean that the town is less moral than it was then, 
but that its moral appreciations are less tense. The 
aroused indignation of the city was what gained the 
victory, but its indignation would not reach the same 
fever-point at seeing itself despoiled of the fruits of 
victory. It takes a good deal of integrity to become 
righteously indignant ; but it takes a vast deal more 
of integrity to be able to keep righteous indignation in 
stock — to be drawn on at sight. 

This city is jealous of its rights, but not yet suffi- 
ciently alive to its rights to have its jealousy a per- 
manencv. One reason of that is that it has been so 


long since the will of the people has counted for any- 
thing here in New York, that we have most of us got- 
ten a little out of the habit of thinking that it ought 
to count for anything. This is one of the lessons that 
we shall have to learn. We have been for a good many 
years municipally enslaved, and it is going to take 
time to reacquire the art of being sensitive to inter- 
ference with our civic rights. We are a population of 
a million and a half, and yet two years ago the ques- 
tion of the Mayoralty was decided by one man. The 
rest of us had no more voice in the matter than we 
had in the choice of the President of France or of the 
Pope of Rome, and yet we went on singing with 
traditional complacency our old hymn, which sounds 
well in church, but means nothing on the street : 

" My country, 'tis of thee. 
Sweet Land of Liberty." 

Now, while it has been necessary that the popular 
conscience should be quickened in order to our be- 
coming relieved from the immoral despotism under 
which we have suffered, there is a good deal more 
work that will have to be done before we shall be in 
situation to break ourselves loose from all despotism, 
moral as well as immoral. If we have gotten rid of 
the devil, or at least some of his angels, the next 
thing to get rid of will be the dictators which, how- 
ever decent superficially, are likely to be first-cousins 
of those angels ; and this second emancipation is a 


matter of greater difficulty than the first, ami will 
require more time and effort and training. It is an 
amazing fact, that much as we talk about liberty, and 
noisily and fervently as we celebrate the Fourth of 
July, the number of people, even of the intelligent 
classes, that decline to be " managed," is compara- 
tively small ; and if citizens wdio are above forty-five 
are so rusted into the hiibit of being " bossed," then 
the bulk of our effort must be put into the work of 
preventing men who are under forty-five from ever 
getting rusted into that habit. 

If 1 were to mention the greatest lesson which I have 
learned during the past three years, it would be that of 
the damnable dangerousness of a professional politi- 
cian, and it is a truth that needs to be sanctified to 
the devout consideration of the citizens of this city, 
that we have not gotten rid of that in getting rid of 
Tammany Hall. As to the rank and file of people, 
they are right, and we can afford to trust them. The 
nearer we come to them and the more deeply and 
sympathetically we enter into their experiences and 
circumstances, the greater the confidence which we 
feel warranted in having in them. The people must 
be trusted. When the issue presented to them, as in 
the recent campaign, is a distinct one, they will ap- 
preciate it and seize upon it. 

Now, the professional politician is the people's 
natural enemy. He takes a professional satisfaction 
in manipulating the people's interest without having 


any moral appreciation of the significance for good 
or evil wliich those interests involve. He is like a 
man playing at chess, who enjoys handling his pieces 
without those pieces being representative to him of any 
other value than what attaches to them as gaming im- 
plements. It is not intended to say that every man 
who officially concerns himself with these matters is 
animated by the spirit we have just specified ; sweep- 
ing vituperation would be unwarranted and in exces- 
sively bad taste. Still the professional politician, un- 
derstood in the sense above indicated, is a popular en- 
emy; his watchword is diplomacy rather than principle ; 
he is made dizzy by travelling a straight line; he values 
a situation according to the number and variety of 
combinations into which it admits of being developed, 
and has no interest in municipal reform for the reason 
that it constricts the area of his versatility. 

In the earlier part of our three years' struggle, we 
came into no contact with politicians. The promise of 
success was so small as to engender in their breasts 
no temptation. It was only when it began to look as 
though something might come of it that they com- 
menced to survey the movement with telescopic com- 
posure, to figure on the chances of issue, to rouge 
their bloodless complexions with a thin wash of af- 
fected enthusiasm, and to lubricate their disused 
machinery with reference to possible contingencies. 
We first struck the track of this species of ravening 
wolves early in 1894, about the time when Albany be- 


gan to act on the matter of sending down an Investi- 
gating Committee. There was a good deal of quiet 
demonstration along the same line after the Com- 
mittee had been designated and had held its first 
"reception" at the Metropole. A large amount of 
elaborate activity of the same sort was expended in 
shaping the Committee's preliminary work on election 
cases, which were emphasized primarily in the interest 
of partisan capital, not with an eye single to the weal of 
New York City. It asserted itself in the matter of coun- 
sel to the Committee in the bringing of W. A. Suther- 
land into the scene, and in the consideration of some 
other names that never became a matter of public 
record, and that were considered only with a view to 
their political availability. 

Once the investigation got well under way, it moved 
at the push of its own momentum. When Mr. Goff 
had dived down and brought to the surface one or 
two specimens of salient corruption, the aroused popu- 
lar feeling would brook no interruption of the work, 
and the politicians had no show. Politicians are like 
bats that fly around only when there is nothing else 
in particular going on. There was too much going 
on between May and November to make either their 
wings or their beaks of much service. Still, even 
during that time, the work of the investigation had a 
certain amount of shape given it by the fact of an ap- 
proaching election. I believe that the Committee, and 
certain influences that were at work upon them, had 


their regard concentrated on election, and not on the 
particular weal of the city. The hardest blow was 
put in, and the consummating disclosure was arranged 
to be histrionically exhibited on the Saturday night 
before election. We are not to be understood as 
criticising the dramatic conduct of the investigation, 
except in view of what transpired later. At election, 
things stopped ; and when they were resumed, the 
investigation was no more like what it had previously 
been than a parade is like a battle-field ; and when it 
finally adjourned, instead of concluding in a climax, 
as was the case just before election, it stopped with a 
slump. We are censuring no one ; we are simply 
stating what everybody in this city understands, that 
there were influences playing in and out of the in- 
vestigation that were not operating with an eye single 
to ends for which the Committee ostensibly came 
down here, and for which they were asked to come 
down. This does not undo the splendid work which 
they accomplished, but illustrates the fact that poli- 
tics has no genius for directness and thoroughness, 
and that a politician is not quite happy so long as he 
is doing precisely the thing that he seems to be 
doing — being in that respect like a man who is cross- 
eyed, who goes one way, but looks two ways while he 
is about it. 

At the date at which these paragraphs are writ- 
ten (January 17th), the Investigating Committee's Bill 
has not yet been reported at Albany ; but we venture 

OUR Ficin wrrii tammany 293 

the prediction that the form in which it will appear 
will bear out our previous statement, and that a good 
deal more of it will be dictated by political scheme than 
by municipal exigency. New York City wants thor- 
ough work done — a policy in which a politician has 
no interest or confidence. He never tucks in the ends, 
for he wants ends leti hanging to which to tie the 
threads of his own chicanery. 

All of this reference is solely for the purpose of 
illustrating the ground upon which our next battle will 
have to be fought. We have won a splendid victory, 
but it is no part of the purpose of the politicians, the 
dictators, and the "bosses " that we should be allowed 
to make that victory completely available. Political 
bosses are fond of miscellaneousness, as rats like rub- 
bish, for it gives them something to nest in. 

It is this obstacle that Mayor Strong is likely to 
confront. The citizens of New York insist that he 
shall be independent. The politicians insist that he 
shall be bitted and bridled, and it is conceivable at 
this date, that although the city demands that he 
should have the power to remove the heads of depart- 
ments, that power will not be conceded unless he 
comes to an understanding with Albany and Tioga as 
to who will be put in the places of those who are re- 
moved. It would be vastly better for the city to be 
under the government of Tammany hold-overs, than 
to be under the direction of men, however decent, that 
are put into position at the expense of the Mayor's 


surrender of a part of his proper authority, and of his 
sacrifice of a measure of his self-respect and of our 
respect for him. It would, in the long run, be better 
for the cause of good municipal government, that the 
Tammany members of our city boards should serve 
their full term, than that better men should be put in 
their stead at the expense of the Mayor's capitulating 
with self-constituted dictators who consider the city's 
necessities only as so much material for aggrandizing 
their power, and handle the interests of a great mu- 
nicipality with all the bloodless unregard with which 
a billiard-player drives his balls or chalks his cue. 

One of the most serious considerations suggested 
by the situation is, that the work which has been done 
by the Society for the Prevention of Crime, the City 
Vigilance League, the Good Government Clubs, and 
the Committee of Seventy, can hardly be considered 
compensating work, if it is only to issue in three years 
of oasis in the midst of a continuous desert of cor- 
rupt city government. If we had failed on the 6th of 
November, it would have been exceedingly difficult to 
arouse this city to a renewal of its endeavor two years 
hence ; but if, now that we have won, the victory itself 
proves a failure, and if, at the end of Mayor Strong's 
term, we are left with zeal abated and ranks divided, 
it will be an even more difficult task to rally the city 
to a renewal of the struggle and a repetition of the 
triumph. It is time for us to be considering the bear- 
ing which each administrative act is going to have on 


the question of the contuiuance of honest administra- 
tion after the present mayoralty term has expired. 

More than 100,000 men voted in November the 
Tammany ticket. We won by a margin of less than 
50,000 ; so that the shifting of 25,000, made up of the 
dissatisfied and the disappointed who voted for Mr. 
Strong this year, would easily carry the victory back 
into the camp of Tammany — and Tammany never dies. 
There will always be a Tammany in New York City, 
whatever may be the name or no-name by which it 
•may be distinguished. 

That which secured for us the victory in November 
was the power of the appeal that was so variously and 
repetitiously made in behalf of a clean, straight city 
government, administered in the interests of the city 
on purely business principles. That watchword gained 
us the victory, and it is only by adhering to that watch- 
word that we shall retain the victory through the years 
and years to come. It is the supreme ambition of 
our Mayor to be loyal to the principle of it, and any 
man or clique of men, any boss or junto, that works 
divisively and so relaxes the bonds of coalition which 
gave us the victory, and which alone will be competent 
to give us the victory again, is a traitor to the city 
and to all its vast and complicated interests, and is 
worthy only of municipal outlawry and hot civic dam- 
nation. It was a serious question whether we should 
win in November. It is now a far more serious ques- 
tion whether we are going to make that victory the 


foundation of a permanent victor}^ and whether there 
are men and women enough among us who are suffi- 
ciently devoted to this city, sufficiently fond of right- 
eousness and appreciative of civic liberty to hold 
themselves steadily and compactly in line, prepared to 
crush every movement that threatens to operate dis- 
ruptively, and to bid defiance to every self-constituted 
despotism that dares to convert men into playthings, 
and to fill its veins with the warm blood which it sucks 
from the municipal life. Eternal vigilance is the price 
of liberty. It is harder to use success than to win it. 
Municipal ground will always have to be a battle-field ; 
and may the God of battles multiply his champions, 
solidify their ranks, put might into their arms, chiv- 
alry into their hearts, and crown us all with a steady 
and widening victory. 

University of British Columbia Library 


f ES . a 1973 RHT 

FORM 310 


III .11 11 ll'll' III nil I 

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